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Thread: Can an emitter of light be transparent?

  1. #1 Can an emitter of light be transparent? 
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    I'm researching a few things for a video debunking spirit orbs. Is it possible for something that emits a visibly noticeable amount of light to also be transparent. I'm talking about the emitter itself and not any sort of components or what not. Say some sort of super-heated gas or something (being that plasma becomes opaque).


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  3. #2  
    exchemist
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    Quote Originally Posted by jesbs View Post
    I'm researching a few things for a video debunking spirit orbs. Is it possible for something that emits a visibly noticeable amount of light to also be transparent. I'm talking about the emitter itself and not any sort of components or what not. Say some sort of super-heated gas or something (being that plasma becomes opaque).
    Yes, it is possible to have a faint glow from a gas that otherwise remains largely transparent. The emission in the glow will often be at a single wavelength, say somewhere in the red as with neon, and the gas will remain transparent at other wavelengths in the visible region. But obviously if the emission is bright, then it will overpower the vision of someone attempting to see an image through the gas from the other side of the gas tube.


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    KJW
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jesbs View Post
    I'm researching a few things for a video debunking spirit orbs. Is it possible for something that emits a visibly noticeable amount of light to also be transparent. I'm talking about the emitter itself and not any sort of components or what not. Say some sort of super-heated gas or something (being that plasma becomes opaque).
    Yes, it is possible to have a faint glow from a gas that otherwise remains largely transparent. The emission in the glow will often be at a single wavelength, say somewhere in the red as with neon, and the gas will remain transparent at other wavelengths in the visible region. But obviously if the emission is bright, then it will overpower the vision of someone attempting to see an image through the gas from the other side of the gas tube.
    But it's important to note that an object can't be completely transparent at the frequencies at which it emits. If it could be transparent at such frequencies, the principle of microscopic reversibility would be violated and this would violate the second law of thermodynamics.
    There are no paradoxes in relativity, just people's misunderstandings of it.
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    KJW
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    Actually, on further consideration, I may have been too hasty. For example, if the emission is not to the ground state, then microscopic reversibility is not violated.
    There are no paradoxes in relativity, just people's misunderstandings of it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KJW View Post
    Actually, on further consideration, I may have been too hasty. For example, if the emission is not to the ground state, then microscopic reversibility is not violated.
    Aha, you beat me to the request for a qualification! I was in fact just trying to look up what transitions give rise to the lines in the spectrum of neon - but without success. From what I read, though, there may also be lines due to neon ions as well as atoms, which would further complicate the picture.
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    Thank you all for your awesome replies. Perhaps I should search down another avenue in order to debunk these things. Cheers!
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    Actually, on a similar note: would the gas have to be heated to a considerable temperature for this emission to occur? Is it possible for something to emit light, be transparent AND be around room temperature?
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    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jesbs View Post
    Thank you all for your awesome replies. Perhaps I should search down another avenue in order to debunk these things. Cheers!
    Is this the effect of apparently floating "blobs" you get in photos taken under certain lighting conditions? If so, isn't the best way of "debunking" the loony explanations to simply explain what causes them?
    ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jesbs View Post
    Thank you all for your awesome replies. Perhaps I should search down another avenue in order to debunk these things. Cheers!
    Is this the effect of apparently floating "blobs" you get in photos taken under certain lighting conditions? If so, isn't the best way of "debunking" the loony explanations to simply explain what causes them?
    The very same. Yes I'm doing a few explanations on how camera lenses and bokeh effects work, the problem is if not over explained, the margin of "no I don't believe you" will still very much be there. :')

    That's why for one little portion of the video it'd be awesome if somehow there were a way to disprove the physical existence of anything that emits light, is transparent and is room temperature.
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