Submit a question to our community and get an answer from real people.
Submit
All  >  Science

I have a fundamental question on light properties.

lets say you have a flashlight and you point it at a blue object, the light reflects off of the object as blue. The same thing goes for all "visible" light.

But my question is best described as an example

lets say you have a flashlight and you point it at an object BUT it reflects the light into the invisible spectrum of light like infrared is this possible?

your eyes see by the reflection of light, so if this object reflected in the infrared could you see it?

Report as

What's happening with the blue object, is that the light from the flashlight contains a wide spectrum of light - all the different colors, of different wavelengths. All the different colors mixed together makes white light. When you shine it on the blue object, all the other colors get absorbed, and only blue waves bounce back. So the flashlight was already throwing blue waves at the object.

The only way that an object would reflect infrared would be if the flashlight were already "shining" infrared waves at the object. The act of reflection will not change the properties of the light that it is reflecting.

Helpful Fun Thanks for voting Comments (0)
Report as
Add a comment...

There are materials which absorb the light with a certain wavelength and then reflect it with another wavelength( like phosphorescent or fluorescent surfaces- I don't remember which one).
So, at least theoretically, there may be materials that reflect the light as infra red waves.

Helpful Fun Thanks for voting Comments (4)
Report as
Technically, though, the material wouldn't reflect the light. It would absorb all of the light from the flashlight, which excites the fluorescent material's electrons to a higher energy state. Then once you remove the flashlight, the fluorescent material's electrons would drop back to a lower energy state, releasing light in the process.

(Fluorescent simply means "light emitting" whereas phosphorescent is a special type of fluorescent using phosphorus.)
Report as
M360 we did chat in your comment box in our native language so sorry for that if it disturb or confuse you !
Report as
Quester2011, thanks.
Esabelgriplin, never mind.
Report as
Thanks M36o :)
Report as
Add a comment...

No it is not possible for the object to change from visible to invisible because your eyes put white light on the object and it is composed of various colours ! Depending upon the reflection and colour of object the light reflect and makes the object visible to you .
So the object does not reflect infrared ! It only does reflect the wave of light which has the same colour as the object !
depending upon the nature and colour of the object it reflects light of different wavelength and frequencies!

Helpful Fun Thanks for voting Comments (4)
Report as
Nonsense. Of course the object can change the wavelength!
Report as
Who said that object does not change the wavelengths?
Definitely when white light falls on the object it is reflected by object in the form of different wavelengths according to frequency !
Report as
You did... Read your first sentence!8
Report as
I meant to say that a visible object can't be changed in to invisible form :)
Report as
Add a comment...

Yes. These are in fact very common objects. They are called black objects: the absorb all visible wavelengths, but because of both infrared absorption and emission (and possibly reflection to) they emit in infrared, which you can most easily sense by feeling them getting warmer. In fact, that's exactly how infrared radiation was discovered!

Helpful Fun (1) Thanks for voting Comments (3)
Report as
really atre u telling truth hahah
Report as
are
Report as
Yes it is the truth. Black objects do not reflect in the visible part of the spectrum, but they can and do in infrared. And no need for name calling. It actually makes you look like one!
Report as
Add a comment...

Read all these answers, none of them address the question! Your question: Could your eyes see infrared if that were reflected?
Answer: In the spectrum of energy, from cosmic rays and above, the most energetic, to infrared the least energetic, heat, light we see is just a small sliver of that. In order to "see" heat, we would have to have evolved to do that. People don't, but I think snakes do that.

Helpful Fun Thanks for voting Comments (2)
Report as
That would be because they added that part after the answers were already posted. :) Gotta love edited answers.
Report as
*questions, not answers, lol.
Report as
Add a comment...
Do you have an answer?
Answer this question...
Did you mean?
Login or Join the Community to answer
Popular Searches