Science of Light

Lesson Five

05-Science of Light

Visible Light


The coarsest grades of heat in the sunlight are invisible.  When the ethers and the atomic spirals are finer, they become visible as light, and the color spectrum of red, orange, etc.


   As can be seen from this graph, visible light takes up a very minor proportion of the elctro-magnetic spectrum.  The slower sound waves are shown at the right in this diagram, with increasing rates of vibration as one moves toward the left, toward light and beyond.


    Light is the form of radiant energy that stimulates the organs of sight.  The part of this range that is visible to the human eye consists of wavelengths extending from about 3900 angstroms to 7700 angstroms, and traveling at a speed of about 186,000 miles per second.  These waves of energy become visible because electromagnetic waves in this range excite certain nerve endings in the retina of the eye.  Impulses are transmitted to the brain by these nerves, where they give rise to sensations of light and color.


    Color has been termed “a visual attribute of substances whose wave lengths of radiant energy are capable of stimulating the retina.”  All color sensations are caused by light rays entering our eyes, whether these stem from the sun, a flame, a lamp, or other glowing substance.  But it must be remembered that the eyes do not see; what you see is in the mind.


    All other objects are seen by reflected light, and the colors which they show exist in the light and not in the object.  These objects we see as colored do not add anything to the light which falls upon them before reflecting it forth, but subtract or absorb something from that light.  The apparent color of an opaque object depends upon the quality of light which falls upon it.


    Substances have a tendency, depending on their chemical structure, to absorb certain wave-lengths of light, and to reflect or transmit the others.  The absorbed waves are turned into heat or some other form of energy.  White substances reflect all wave-lengths of light equally; black substances absorb all, or nearly all of them, and reflect relatively little light.  A colored object is one that reflects some colors, but not others, so any object appears only the color of the reflected light.



Lesson five, page 2


   White being a mixture of all the colors, a white object is one that reflects all colors about equally, and so it looks colored only if it is illuminated by a colored light.


    When two paints of different colors are mixed together, the appearance may become less bright, because the resulting color will be that which they can both reflect.  If the same two colors (as the paint) of light rays are blended together the combination of rays may appear quite different, in that they are not reflective.


    Visual judgments of color are very rough.  They tell only the predominant behavior at the surface of an opaque object.  In fact, appearances of all kinds are relatively misleading.  To the eye, ordinary matter appears to be continuous, presenting an unbroken surface, but science tells us it is not.  If we had ultramicroscopic vision we might see through many things which now appear quite solid, and the smooth tops of tables would be made of mountains and valleys.  We might even see the sunlight in cucumbers which the philosophers of a certain country, we are told, were trying to extract.


    If the eye could see in the ultra-violet region of the spectrum, substances which emit ultra-violet would appear to be surrounded by an aura or halo.  Human bodies would be seen surrounded by some sort of penumbra visible now to those who claim clairvoyance.  We see that the world as it appears to us is largely a product of our sensory equipment.  Professor Reiser also states that we have developed the faculty of vision through the need, or the great desire, to see.


    Maxwell, in the nineteenth century, defined light as part of a vast continuous spectrum of electromagnetic radiation.  Light is also distinguished by the fact that the eye is sensitive to it.  However, it only becomes visible by virtue of the objects of dense matter and of the earth itself which deflect light rays, for if there was nothing material to absorb the rays, they would flow right past and one would not see them; all would appear blackness, except the sun.


    The eye is an image-catching device.  The process of vision in all creatures begins with light entering the eye and bringing with it the information is has picked up in touching or passing through the objects in its path.  These light patterns travel through the various parts of the eye until the image is cast upon the back wall, or retina of the eye, just as a picture is thrown upon film by a camera.  It is important that there be neither too much nor too little light for a clear image.  It is the work of the iris, the colored part of the eye, to control the amount of light that enters by contracting or stretching as needed, to shrink or enlarge the light-admitting hole (which is called the pupil,) the black-appearing circle within the iris.


    The light-sensitive receptors in the eye are specialized neurons located in the retina that lines all but the front part of the eyeball.


    There are two kinds of light-sensitive neurons in the retina, the rods and the cones.  The cones are sensitive to colors, and the rods only to white light.  The rods do not function well unless plenty of vitamin A is present in the retina.

Lesson five, page 3


    The rods and cones are the real light receptors.  The other parts of the eye play a secondary role.  Impulses resulting from the stimulation of the rods and cones by light travel into dendrites in the optic nerve, and then to “seeing centers” in the cerebrum.  The organ of vision is the most important receiving apparatus of the body.


Fluorescent Light:

    When we heat any substance, such as the filament in an electric bulb, it will emit light.  It is possible, however, to make a body emit light without being heated.  Certain materials will emit light or “fluorescence” if exposed to ultra-violet waves.  “Fluor” is from the Latin word for “flowing.”  Fluorescent light is distinguished  from phosphorescent in that it is emitted as light while the stimulus is active.


Phosphorescent Light:

    You have seen luminous materials that glow in the dark.  These materials are either phosphorescent or radioactive.  A phosphorescent material must first be exposed to light before it will glow.  The electrons in a phosphorescent material capture and store the light energy so that a material may continue to glow in the dark after the stimulus is removed.  Some mineral substances have this property, especially phosphorus – (from a Greek word meaning “light bringing.”)    


    Tiny amounts of radioactive materials are used on luminous watch dials to create light.  Radioactive atoms explode and shoot out high-speed atomic particles and rays.  Electrons in nearby atoms are hit by these atomic emissions and are knocked into higher-energy orbits.  Then they jump back to create the light we see on the dial.  Unlike luminous materials of the phosphorescent type, which require exposure to light, the radioactive light sources are self-luminous.


    Cold light:  Some kinds of molecules can combine directly with oxygen molecules in the air, and emit light without getting hot.  A piece of phosphorus glows in the dark as its atoms combine with the oxygen in the air.


    A firefly can emit quite a bright light by producing on the surface of its abdomen two chemicals whose molecules combine and emit cold light.  In fact, one of the coolest lights known is that produced by a firefly.  This is 90% light and only 10% heat.  Man has not been able to equal the efficiency of this light.  An ordinary light bulb gives off only 25% light and 75% heat.


    Black light:  If we fill a tube like the one used for fluorescent light with a special chemical, mercury, we find that this tube will emit both visible and ultra-violet light.  If the tube is surrounded by a special glass that absorbs the visible light, only the ultraviolet light comes through.  This we have called black light.  Ultraviolet rays and black light are also used to sterilize milk and to keep meat stored in a refrigerator from spoiling.  Black light can be used to detect fingerprints which are not visible to the human eye in ordinary visible light.  If the prints are treated with a fluorescent powder and exposed to black or fluorescent light they will show up clearly.

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the sense of seeing is most important of the senses, though we see nothing really.


We see all of life in pictures.  We know more of life through pictures than any other thing.


All our thoughts form mental pictures.  Words form mental pictures; and once the picture is formed, the judgment can be made.


You have never seen an object in the world.  You have only seen a reproduction in your mind.  Neither you nor anyone else knows how anything looks in the world, they have never seen it.  All you have seen is electro-chemical interchange reproductions in your mind.


The only seeing is spiritually, and it isn’t done with the eyes.


If you get this thinking of yours straightened out, then maybe you’ll see.


How do you bring it through?  Man is a broadcasting station.  If you receive that with your mechanism, then self analyses it.  Make your mind a blank screen and receive what you are looking for. 


(Father Paul)

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    Esoterically speaking, all matter radiates light; all matter is luminiferous, and therefore has color vibration.  Matter continually emits rays, and throws off vibrations which materially affect us.  Matter and light are fundamentally inseparable; solid matter, reduced to its essence, is radiation identical with light.


    This brings to mind the ancient teaching that the universe has evolved from the primal Cosmic Fire, or Great White Light, which is an emanation of the Divine Being at the Source of all Light.



Fig. A:

  1) Superior levator muscle of   eyelid

  2) Superior rectus muscle

  3) Trochlea of superior  oblique muscle

  4) Superior oblique muscle

  5) Tendinous insertion superior oblique

  6) Conjunctiva

  7) Upper eyelid

  8) Meibomian gland

  9) Eyelash

10) Iris  11) Pupil

12) Meibomian gland and duct

13) Lower eyelid

14) Inferior oblique muscle

15) Inferior rectus muscle

16) Internal bony wall of orbit

17) Infraorbital fissure

18) Optic nerve  19) Sphenoid bone







Fig. B:

  1) Superior levator muscle of eyelid

  2) Superior rectus muscle

  3) Trochlea of superior oblique  muscle

  4) Superior oblique muscle

  5) Sclerotic coat

  6) Portion of eyelid

  7) Internal rectus muscle

  8) Lacrimal sac (nasolacrimal duct)

  9) Carnucula lacrimalis

10) Medial palpebral ligament

11) Iris

12) Pupil

13) Inferior oblique muscle

14) Inferior rectus muscle

15) Lateral rectus muscle

16) Lateral palpebral ligament

17) Lacrimal gland

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