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Question

Why is it so that only small wavelengths of light are scattered?

how can I visualize the lights wavelength?


Solution

Particles or molecules, much smaller than the wavelength of light produce a Scattering of sunlight that is inversely proportional to the fourth power of the wavelength.( Rayleigh scattering). This means shorter wavelength scattered much more than longer wavelength.

Rayleigh scattering results from the electric polarizability of the particles. The oscillating electric field of a light wave acts on the charges within a particle, causing them to move at the same frequency. The particle therefore becomes a small radiating dipole whose radiation we see as scattered light.

 

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