Articles on Light

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Gravity helps stars to form. UNIMAP / L. Piazzo, La Sapienza – Università di Roma; E. Schisano / G. Li Causi, IAPS/INAF, Italy

Curious Kids: how long has gravity existed?

Gravity exists because the universe is full of 'stuff' – here's how it came to be.
The crests (bright) and troughs (dark) of waves spread out after they were produced. The picture applies to both light and sound waves. Titima Ongkantong

A new type of laser uses sound waves to help to detect weak forces

Most people are familiar with lasers. But what about a laser made with sound rather than light? A couple of physicists have now created one that they plan to use for measuring imperceivable forces.
The sea is blue because of the way water absorbs light, the way particles in the water scatter light, and also because some of the blue light from the sky is reflected. Flickr/Fiona Paton

Curious Kids: is water blue or is it just reflecting off the sky?

Photons stream from the sun and interact with all matter on Earth. Depending on what the light touches, some of the photons will get absorbed or soaked up. And some will bounce back.
Lighting causes damage to paintings over time. Juan Di Nella/Unsplash

How the right lighting could save the Mona Lisa

Researchers have found a way to reduce light damage to artworks by up to 47% by optimising LEDs to prevent light from being absorbed by the artwork.
Section of a tumor observed with an optical microscope. The two white forms with brown borders are blood vessels. Inside, gold nanoparticles accumulate against their walls. Mariana Varna-Pannerec (ESPCI)

Destroying tumors with gold nanoparticles

Gold can be used to make jewelry, but also to fight cancer. Several clinical trials are currently underway in the United States where patients are being treated with gold nanoparticles.
While some things glow all the time, glow-in-the-dark paint must be ‘told to glow’ - just like a phone needs to be charged or it won’t work. Mai Lam/The Conversation NY-BD-CC

Curious Kids: How does glow in the dark paint work?

You can see glow-in-the dark paint, but if you touch it, it is just as cold as the bedroom wall. So the glowing of the paint is different to the glowing of a light bulb.
The Small Magellanic Cloud galaxy here seen in infrared light, but it looks different when viewed at other wavelengths. ESA/NASA/JPL-Caltech/STScI

Looking at the universe through very different ‘eyes’

The galaxies, stars and planets in our universe can look very different when you view them through equipment that sees beyond the visible light our eyes can see.

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