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why did we evolve eyes that see visible light?

 
 
OGIONIK
 
Reply Sun 29 Jul, 2007 05:31 am
Is there a reason we "see" visible light rather than on a different wavelength like infrared or ultraviolet?

Does anyone know if light has special properties that make it more suited for vision than the others?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 1,197 • Replies: 12
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Coolwhip
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jul, 2007 05:38 am
Because most other wavelengths are blocked in the ozone layer.


http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/8/83/Atmospheric_electromagnetic_transmittance_or_opacity.jpg/800px-Atmospheric_electromagnetic_transmittance_or_opacity.jpg
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Coolwhip
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jul, 2007 05:41 am
However, there are birds that see ultraviolet light. Image above is from wikipedia.
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OGIONIK
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jul, 2007 05:47 am
i love light.
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Vengoropatubus
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Jul, 2007 10:22 pm
Another interesting observation that I made one day, is that the range of visible light frequencies extends almost just far enough to constitute what in the musical world would be considered an "octave." Whether this has any real significance or not, I don't know, but it does seem strange.
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OGIONIK
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Jul, 2007 02:20 am
I think nature follows alot of very simple mathematical patterns, or is just mathematical in general.
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jul, 2007 06:21 am
Coolwhip wrote:
Because most other wavelengths are blocked in the ozone layer.

Visible light also reflects off of things (objects) so they can be seen. Radio waves make it to the ground, but I don't think they reflect off of objects very well, so they aren't useful for "seeing" objects (at least in detail).
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parados
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jul, 2007 06:41 am
No matter what we would only see "visible" light. If we saw xrays we would call it "visible" light.
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OGIONIK
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jul, 2007 07:14 am
I DONT THINK THAT IS TRUE..

Do xrays reflect off of surfaces like light?
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jul, 2007 08:27 am
OGIONIK wrote:
I DONT THINK THAT IS TRUE..

Do xrays reflect off of surfaces like light?

I was referring to a combination of attributes which make a particular wavelength of light (visible light) something which is more likely to be selected for.

You asked why our eyes evolved for visible light, and CoolW pointed out that visible light makes it through our atmosphere (but so do radio waves). So I pointed out that visible light also reflects off surfaces, unlike radio waves. The combination of qualities makes it a prime candidate for selection.
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Coolwhip
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jul, 2007 09:01 am
Quote:
Visible light also reflects off of things (objects) so they can be seen. Radio waves make it to the ground, but I don't think they reflect off of objects very well, so they aren't useful for "seeing" objects (at least in detail).
Correct, basic physics. The smaller the wavelength, the smaller objects you can see.
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parados
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jul, 2007 09:28 am
OGIONIK wrote:
I DONT THINK THAT IS TRUE..

Do xrays reflect off of surfaces like light?

"Visible" is a term we apply to a light spectrum because it means we can see it.

The term "visible" would be used no matter which spectrum we see. If we could see xrays then xrays would be "visible".
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OGIONIK
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jul, 2007 10:04 am
ahhh, lol
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