Taking a nap in a college darkroom once, even after a couple hours my presumedly fully dilated eyes couldn't see a thing. With no self-correcting cues I found it very difficult just getting out of the room without wobbling and steadying myself. It raised a question in my head though: what is it about light that enables us to see things illuminated by it?
Light propagates out from its' source as a wave and a particle (we'll skip the qm lecture.)
So it's illuminating things by smashing its' photons onto or against things being illuminated (like if we shine a flashlight onto something, photons are emitted striking the object.) But then what happens that we can see the object? Are the photons bouncing off and into our eyes? Why would that enable us to see the thing being lit? Wouldn't a photon be a photon regardless? Or is some information from the object being copied onto the photon so when the photon enters our eye we see that one photon's worth of the object like a single pixel?
Or is it that the molecules of what's being illuminated are being charged or having their energy state increased making them visible? The photons are being absorbed as well as reflected, but the thing being lit is becomming 'glow in the dark' like?