Science Bag Videos

"Red Sunsets, Black Clouds and The Blue Moon: Light Scattering in the Atmosphere"

Robert Greenler - Department of Physics

Light waves and particles in the atmosphere produce blue skies, red sunsets, white and black clouds, and the rare blue moon. An understanding of the physical origins of such processes, claims physicist Robert Greenler, enhances a person's sense of awe and appreciation, giving fresh eyes with which to see and enjoy the familiar. With this goal in mind, he combines a delightful mix—of poetry, lasers, diagrams, photographs, shades of white/ gray, and ingenious but simple demonstrations—to explain and show how light waves are scattered in the atmosphere.