"ultraviolet" is such a cool word tbh
it sounds like the name of a superheroine
ultraviolet we were just talking about
this is the bit after visible where we first start seeing Weird Shit happen in metals and stuff, where the light pries off electrons from the surface. more generally, it marks the beginning of the realm of ionizing radiation.
fun fact: your retina is still sensitive to ultraviolet, but your lens blocks everything below 400nm. if you lack lenses in your eyes (some do), you can see ultraviolet down to about 300 nm before the rest of your eye stops it.
off on a tangent: did you know that the clear stuff (vitrious humor? aqueous? we forget which) in your eyeballs can scintillate when struck by charged particles, and make your eyes act like little cosmic ray detectors?
retinas are sensitive - it only takes about four photons to activate a rod cell in near-total darkness - and astronauts have talked about seeing blue flashes with their eyes closed all the time while in space, especially in higher orbits.
back to the ultraviolet lens thing: it's not really a thing yet, but in the future, it might be possible to have your eyeball materials surgically replaced with synthetic ones that transmit UV light, which would let you see a bunch of normally-invisible wavelengths with your unaided eye, and also see a lot of visible ones a lot better.
no idea how feasible this really is, but it would be a cool scifi element.
the blue sky might look purple in this case, as might Cherenkov radiation.
@diodelass Isn't deep blue light hazardous to the retina? Presumably UV would be worse. I think I'd prefer to keep my internal UV filters in place.
@diodelass I bought a cheap green laser from Hong Kong that turned out to use an infrared laser, frequency doubling, and a second lasing chamber to produce green. So much technology (and shipping!) for $8. Of course, it was also a slightly dangerous piece of shit.
I shone the laser through a red medicine bottle in a darkened room and I could see a dim red spot projected on the wall. My camera thought it was much brighter. I guess I was seeing some infrared. :-)
@varx oh yeah, green InGaN laser diodes are a new invention and are still basically unheard of in cheap laser pointers - they're all Nd:YAGs driving a frequency doubler. they're supposed to have infrared filters, but it sounds like yours doesn't.
the infrared diode at the back is many times more powerful than the green beam you get out the front... we hear you can use them for shenanigans if you can get them out.
@diodelass Unfortunately, it was like... epoxied into a metal tube, or something. After it died (I mentioned it was a piece of shit, right?) I couldn't extract anything to play with. :-/
@varx yeah, they're usually nightmarish to disassemble. all the ones we have are like, steel pieces that have been impact-fitted together
@diodelass hell yeah; also, I think “ultraviolet catastrophe” would be a great band name
...or a rad special attack for the aforementioned superheroine
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