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Tag Archives: light

Today, while running around the UL campus for final year project demonstrations, the light fantastic stopped me in the stairwell. Last year, I saw it the 6th of March. Seeing a full spectrum slowly moving across a floor or a wall, and trying to figure out where the perfect angles and refractory indices are (in this case a window in the UL’s Engineering Research Building) still fascinates me.

light fantastic rainbow spectrum

Let’s hope the sunshine continues and that spring eventually decides to stay.

Beside one of my working-at-home locations, there’s an off-white wall over a fireplace. On a sunny day (not too many of them this spring!), between 3 and 4 in the afternoon, the sunlight is refracted in a window in front of me, painting a very slowly moving pattern on the wall beside me.

As a graphic, it looks almost organic as it’s fading like breathing when small, light clouds pass the sun. The pattern moves, ever so slowly, along the wall and then suddenly disappears when the optical alignment is beyond whatever special condition that was there for a while disappears.

For another day, I might try to make sound from this…

More observations of light can be found here.

At a certain time of the year, at a certain time of the day, if it possibly is sunshine, the stairwell outside our lab at UL has the most beautiful little artificial rainbow.
The cause is the angle between the windows opposite the stairwell and the sun just about sneaking around the corner of the next building.

Artificial rainbow

Artificial rainbow

Even when on my way, rushing to the next lecture or meeting, this humble optical effect makes me stop and smile – or snap a photo.

Rainbow in stairwell

Rainbow in stairwell

I can imagine the fascination that for example Isaac Newton must have experienced while exploring how prisms work. White becoming all colours, and being able to manipulate the rainbow.