Why is the sky blue? Edition 2

Raj at Plus Ultra finds the prose of Sir James Jeans, while he answers this question very satisfying — understandably — Jeans’ analogy and prose is indeed great. However, as we noted earlier there are also two more factors apart from Rayleigh scattering which makes the sky blue, namely,

the better absorption of blue rays by our eyes, in addition to a peak in solar radiation at the blue range,

which are to be added to Sir Jeans’ explanation.


5 Responses to “Why is the sky blue? Edition 2”

  1. raj Says:

    Thanks, guru, for the plug.

    Of course, Jeans wrote this piece in 1931, when research on higher sensitivity of yes for blue and solar radiation peaks had not commenced. It’s a beautiful piece of prose, as is the pirce on periodic table that you cited today.

  2. Guru Says:

    Dear Raj,

    I agree; I have not found the explanation given in such wonderful prose anywhere else. It would have been lovelier to know how Sir Jeans would have modified his explanation and what other analogies he would have used, had he been writing it today.

  3. gaddeswarup Says:

    I vaguely remember that this question fascinated C.V. Raman and may have some thing to do with the discovery of the Raman effect. Do you recall any about this?
    Another vague remembrance. Either Jeans or Eddington has a charming exposition of ‘orthogonal projections in Hilbert space’ using some analogy of elephants passing through gates.

  4. Guru Says:

    Dear Swarup,

    I also remember that Raman pondered the question of the blue colour of sea and that of sea while he was on a voyage. However, I do not exactly remember where. Probably, I have to browse through the Raman online collection sometime.

    The Jean/Eddington stuff sounds very interesting. I have to look it up!

  5. Neutron scattering to image quantum entanglement? « Entertaining Research Says:

    […] Neutron scattering to image quantum entanglement? Scattering is an ubiquitous physical phenomenon; for example, as we noted earlier, scattering of visible light by air molecules plays an important role in making the sky look blue. […]

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