The sky is blue because the incident light interacts with the gas molecules in the air in such as fashion that more of the light in the blue part of the spectrum is scattered, reaching our eyes on the surface of the planet. All the frequencies of the incident light can be scattered this way, but the high-frequency (short wavelength) blue is scattered more than the lower frequencies in a process known as Rayleigh scattering, described in the 1870′s. John William Strutt, Lord Rayleigh, who also won the Nobel Prize in physics in 1904 for the discovery of argon, demonstrated that, when the wavelength of the light is on the same order as the size of the gas molecules, the intensity of scattered light varies inversely with the fourth power of its wavelength. Shorter wavelengths like blue (and violet) are scattered more than longer ones. It’s as if all the molecules in the air preferentially glow blue, which is what we then see everywhere around us.
Yet, the sky should appear violet since violet light is scattered even more than blue light. But the sky does not appear violet to us because of the final, biological part of the puzzle, which is the way our eyes are designed: they are more sensitive to blue than violet light.
The explanation for why the sky is blue involves so much of the natural sciences: the colors within the visual spectrum, the wave nature of light, the angle at which sunlight hits the atmosphere, the mathematics of scattering, the size of nitrogen and oxygen molecules, and even the way human eyes perceive color. It’s most of science in a question that a young child can ask."
(Source: , via explore-blog)
Your Love (Live) - Bon Iver
A science summer camp came by the office yesterday to learn about technologies used by a SMART City. This is me trying to make automated wireless data collection fun and exciting. (Taken with Instagram)
Start the day of right with a Flat White from Smooch (Taken with Instagram at Smooch Cafe)
Science Query for the Presidential Candidates
I wonder when will the public start demanding scientific literacy among their governing officials, including presidential candidates. We were not a country founded on religious beliefs yet it floods our country’s interest for some odd reason. Would it be too much to ask these people have at least a basic, well-rounded sense of the scientific method, much like we require the same level of expertise from our doctors, scientists, teachers, etc.?.
Here’s a nice article via SciAm that reiterates a similar concern:
“As you may already be aware from my previous posts, The Guardian U.S. and NYU’s Studio 20 journalism lab have teamed up to push a project called The Citizens’ Agenda into the media discourse surrounding the U.S. presidential 2012 election. The idea: find out what you–the citizens–want the candidates to be discussing over the next four months – usually meaning questions of substance about policy rather than horserace and gotcha questions so pervasive in mainstream media.”
Just a Lil Sumpin’Sumpin (Taken with Instagram at Putnam’s Clinton Hill)
Chappelle, Beastie Boys: New Style, Live
Unaired Clip from Chappelle’s Show Season Three
I dont always start trouble
most interesting man