Conceptual Physics (12th Edition)

Published by Addison-Wesley
ISBN 10: 0321909100
ISBN 13: 978-0-32190-910-7

Chapter 27 - Think and Do - Page 516-517: 34


This is a writing exercise for the student, and answers will vary.

Work Step by Step

Sample: Hey Grandma! We've been learning why the sky is blue. The blue end of the visible spectrum is scattered most by oxygen and nitrogen molecules in the atmosphere. Our eyes are not very sensitive to violet light, so the sky appears blue. This is discussed on page 512 of my textbook. That is related to why sunrises and sunsets are red. At sunrise or sunset, sunlight takes a long path through the atmosphere to get to us, and a lot of the blue light has already scattered sideways, leaving a reddish sunrise/sunset. This is discussed on pages 512-513 of my textbook, and shown in Figure 27.18. Finally, we learned that it is mostly reflection that accounts for the whiteness of a cloud. The large droplets of water don't scatter light as much as the small molecules of oxygen and nitrogen. They mostly refract and reflect light and treat all colors the same, resulting in a white cloud. This is discussed on page 514 of my textbook.
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