Science of Light

Lesson Nine

09-Science of Light

Color in Stars and Chemicals

(with charts)

 

    Color measures forces, and to a great extent qualities, in every department of the universe.  Thus red is the color of warmth not only as seen in coals of fire, in red sunlight, in capsicum and the like, but in emotions of love and passional energy, as is apparent to persons whose interior vision is opened.

 

    Blue on the other hand measures coolness and electricity as in the blue rays of light, blue venous blood, the blue element of acids.  To the clairvoyant the cool reasoning front brain appears blue, the back brain and lower brain red.  Such facts prove the absolute unity that rules everywhere, both in matter and mind.

 

    By aid of the atomic theory we may know absolutely that such minute particles as atoms have an existence and constitute the basis of the universe, as demonstrated by the law of color.  Thus we know that hydrogen and the alkaline metals, as well as the white metals generally, are thermal, and hence their atoms being widened out by heat, will naturally encase and hide electrical atoms, which are made narrow by cold.

 

    To chemists it has been the mystery of ages that when two atoms combine, the color force of one of them is apt to be entirely obliterated.  If now we shall find that the colors of electrical atoms are generally obliterated by contact with thermal ones, and not those of the thermal atoms by contact with electrical ones, our position will be proved.

 

    By 1964 the ground states of 96 different atoms had been uniquely determined from their spectral structure, and such knowledge is highly preferable in spectroscopy, atomic physics and chemistry.

 

    Color is produced commercially by the use of inorganic chemical substances having some color-producing metal, or by the use of organic coal-tar products.  The derivatives of a substance may be made by modifying the molecular constitution.  Any desired color can be obtained by altering the structural formula so as to throw the absorption into the region of the visible spectrum desired.

 

    Here are a few leading combinations of thermal and electrical atoms indicating their colors, as charted by chemists.

 

Calcium Chloride (Chloride of Lime, CaCl2) has a white color like the thermal calcium, not yellow-green like Chlorine.

 

Magnesium Chloride (MgCl2) white, like magnesium.

 

Potassium Chloride (KC1), white, like the thermal substance potassium.

 

Argentic Chloride (silver and chlorine, AgCl) white, like silver.

 

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Mercuric Chloride, or corrosive sublimate, (HgCl2), white, like mercury.

 

Mercurous Chloride or Calomel (Hg2Cl2), white

 

Antimony Trichloride (SbCl3), white, like the antimony itself.

 

Hydrochloric Acid (HCl), transparent like the hydrogen.

 

Hydrogen Iodide (HI), transparent like the hydrogen, although the iodine is a blue black. 

 

Hydrogen Bromide (HB), transparent like hydrogen, not red like bromine.

 

Manganese Dichloride (MnCl2), reddish like the manganese.

 

Aurous Oxide, or oxygen and gold, the symbols of which are sometimes written AuO, but as the yellow of gold combines with the blue of oxygen here and makes a green, it may be presumed that they combine by 2s thus Au202.

 

Potassium Bisulphide (K2S2), orange colored, seems to combine the red potency of potassium with the yellow of sulphur.

 

Potassium Carbonate (CO2K2), white like the potassium.  The oxygen seems to have driven the black substance carbon into the potassium.  The same principles rule in Sodium Carbonate (CO3Na2), the white sodium atom alone showing, and in Sodium Chloride (common salt).

 

 

    Various other compounds could be given, but this will be sufficient to establish the principle, that the colors of chemical solutions have a definite relation to their chemical constitution.

 

Materials of Colors

 

    Following is a list of the materials of colors so far as contributed by 20 important elements, including 16 metals which the spectroscope has discovered in the suns atmosphere and the 4 metalloids; oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen and carbon which have so much to do with light.

 

    These metals are: sodium, calcium, barium, magnesium, iron, chromium, nickel, copper, zinc, strontium, cadmium, cobalt, manganese, aluminum, titanium, rubidium.

 

    Materials of red light: nitrogen, oxygen, barium, zinc, strontium, cadmium, rubidium.

 

    Materials of red-orange light: Hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, calcium, barium, iron, copper, strontium, cadmium.  This color would pass for red and constitutes a fine grade of it.

 

    Materials of orange light: Oxygen, calcium, iron, nickel, zinc, cobalt, rubidium, aluminum, titanium.

 

    Materials of yellow-orange light: Carbon, nitrogen, sodium, nickel, zinc, cobalt, manganese, titanium.  This would often pass for yellow with those who are not discriminative.

 

    Materials of yellow light: Carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, calcium, barium, iron, chromium, nickel, copper, zinc, strontium, cobalt, manganese, aluminum, titanium.

 

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    Materials of yellow-green light: Carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, sodium, calcium, barium, magnesium, chromium, nickel, copper, strontium, cadmium, cobalt, rubidium, aluminum, titanium.

 

    Materials of blue-green light: Carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, sodium, iron, nickel, copper, zinc, cobalt, manganese, titanium.

 

    Materials of blue light: Oxygen, nitrogen, barium, magnesium, chromium, nickel, copper, zinc, strontium, cadmium, cobalt, manganese, aluminum, titanium.

 

    Materials of indigo-blue light: Oxygen, nitrogen, iron, calcium, manganese, titanium.

 

    Materials of indigo light: Oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, iron, chromium, copper, strontium, titanium.

 

    Materials of violet-indigo light: Oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, iron, calcium, cobalt, rubidium, manganese, titanium.

 

    Materials of violet light: Nitrogen, oxygen, barium, iron, strontium, manganese.

 

    Materials of dark violet light: Hydrogen, calcium, aluminum.

 

    All continuous spectra look very much alike.  The only difference is that some colors may be brighter than others, depending on how hot the source is.  If you heat a piece of metal until it begins to glow, it will look dull red, like the wires in an electric toaster.  The spectrum of the light from the metal will be brighter only in the red part.  As the metal gets hotter, it will look yellowish, like the wire in an electric heater.  Then the yellow part of the spectrum will be strong, too.  And when the metal gets very hot, it will look white, like the wire in a lamp bulb.

 

    As a material gets hotter, the brightest part of its spectrum moves steadily from the red toward the violet.  When it gets hot enough, several colors will be strong enough to make the mixture look white.  Scientists can tell exactly how hot a furnace is by finding the brightest part of its spectrum.  They also judge the temperature of the sun or distant stars in this way.  The suns spectrum is strongest in the yellow part, at a wave length of about 20 millionths of an inch.

 

    Using a spectroscope, the experimenters put different material into a hot flame, one at a time.  In each test, the spectroscope showed a different set of sharp, bright colored lines, called spectrum lines, with dark spaces between them.  This meant that the flame was sending out only a few definite wave lengths of light instead of the endless number that make up white light.

 

    These experiments proved that each kind of material gives its own special pattern of spectrum lines.  No two materials have exactly the same set of lines, just as no two people have exactly the same fingerprints.

 

    When chemists want to find out what something is made of, they must do many hours of testing with chemicals.  But, with a spectroscope, it is only necessary to make the material

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give off light and then look at the lines in the spectrum.  This can sometimes be done in just a few minutes.  Besides, the spectrum method can detect very tiny amounts of a material that are too small to show up in any other way.  Sometimes as little as a few billionths of an ounce is enough to give a spectrum.

 

    To form a line spectrum, a material must first be changed to a vapor or a gas, and this is what happens when it is put into a flame.  The heat makes the molecules scatter so they do not disturb each other when they send out their light.  Then the lines of the spectrum are clearly separated.

 

    But in liquids or solids, the molecules are packed tightly together, and they hinder each other.  Then the lines smear out to give a continuous spectrum that does not tell anything about the make-up of the material.

 

Stars

 

    A star and our sun is one of them is a self-luminous object, which shines by radiation derived from energy sources within itself.  By contrast, planets shine by reflected light only, while gaseous and diffuse nebulae may shine either by reflected light, or by fluorescence. 

 

    The distance of stars from the earth is measured in terms of light years, a unit of interstellar space measurement equal to the distance traversed by light in one year that is, approximately six trillion miles.

 

    The universe contains billions of stars, of which only about 6000 are visible to the naked eye.  These stars are not identical, but vary in many respects as to brightness, color, age, size, temperature and chemical composition.

 

    In fact, there is found evidence of a reasonably uniform distribution of chemical elements throughout the universe.  The same familiar substances, hydrogen, iron, calcium, etc. are in the sun and stars that we are familiar with on earth.  This indicates that the atomic building blocks of the universe are the same throughout space, but the proportions differ.

 

    Probably the largest amount of information that is attainable for any star is obtained from its spectrum.  From this can be determined some idea of the brightness and property of distant stars.

 

    Even with the naked eye one can observe certain differences in color: While most stars appear blue-white, Betelgeuse in Orion, for example, is deep red, and Albireo in Cygnus consists of two stars one blue, and the other orange.

 

    The spectrum of a star indicates its probable temperature and information as to chemical composition.

 

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    There are 10 general classifications or spectral types of stars, with subdivisions among each:

 

Star type          Color                            Most prominent spectral lines   

 

O                       Blue                       hydrogen; ionized helium, ionized oxygen; ionized nitrogen.

 

B                       Bluish                    hydrogen; helium.

 

A                       White                     hydrogen

 

F                       Yellowish               hydrogen, ionized calcium

 

G                      Yellow                    hydrogen, ionized calcium, metals

 

K                      Orange                    ionized calcium, metals, cyanogen

 

M                     Red                         titanium oxide, vanadium oxide

 

R                      Red                        carbon, carbon compounds

 

S                       Red                        zirconium oxide, lanthanum oxide

 

N                      Very red                carbon, carbon compounds

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