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Thread: a very basic question about photon wavelength

  1. #1 a very basic question about photon wavelength 
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    so visible photons to our eyes have wavelengths around 400-750 nm, but my simple question is, how does this wavelength orientate itself? when i think of a wave, i think of a vertical movement up and down, but vertical is relation to the way i view up and down which is in relation to gravity on this planet

    so how does wavelength orientate? if it's an up and down movement, then what dictates up and down, i suppose i'm asking- what is wavelength?


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  3. #2  
    Moderator Moderator Janus's Avatar
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    Here's an image showing different wavelengths of light.



    Notice what changes between the different colors.


    "Men are apt to mistake the strength of their feelings for the strength of their argument.
    The heated mind resents the chill touch & relentless scrutiny of logic"-W.E. Gladstone


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  4. #3 Re: a very basic question about photon wavelength 
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeldakeroisk
    so visible photons to our eyes have wavelengths around 400-750 nm, but my simple question is, how does this wavelength orientate itself? when i think of a wave, i think of a vertical movement up and down, but vertical is relation to the way i view up and down which is in relation to gravity on this planet

    so how does wavelength orientate? if it's an up and down movement, then what dictates up and down, i suppose i'm asking- what is wavelength?
    What you seem to be calling orientation is a polarization state of a photon.

    Have you ever worn polarized sunglasses ?
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  5. #4  
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    I don't believe that thats true.
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  6. #5  
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    An electromagnetic wave has side-to-side movement too.
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard_Bacat
    I don't believe that thats true.
    What you believe is completely irrelevant.
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  8. #7  
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    thanks for the help all, after wikipediaing polarization as someone mentioned I understand

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polarization_(waves)
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