Why Can't We See the Ultraviolet Light

Why Can’t We See the Ultraviolet Light?

Ultraviolet is a segment of the electromagnetic spectrum that has a large energy capacity. Ultraviolet light has smaller wavelengths when compared to the visible light.

UV waves are not visible to the human eye, but some insects, like bumblebees, can still observe them. This is as same as to how the sound of a whistle was audible to a dog which was just outside the hearing range of humans.

The Sun was from where ultraviolet radiation derived its full spectrum. It is commonly subcategorized into UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C. These are the different groupings that were most often used in Earth sciences. UV-C rays are the most dangerous and are almost completely immersed by our atmosphere. UV-B rays are considered as the dangerous rays which gives rise to the sunburn. Exposure to UV-B rays accelerates the risk of DNA and other cellular damage in living creatures. Luckily, nearly 95 percent UV-B rays are immersed by ozone in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Can We See Ultraviolet Light?

By definition, ultraviolet light is ‘beyond violet light’ and the visible spectrum that can be visible through the naked eyes of the human. Therefore it cannot be seen directly. Detectors that are sensitive to UV rays transfer it into a form that we can see. Precisely, one can spot the UV part of the electromagnetic spectrum if one and the source of UV radiation are abating from each other at a high enough velocity to red-shift high frequency UV waves into the visible spectrum. In this case, however, UV light is being discharged, and not received.

You don’t need to make it factitious, since the Sun emits UV rays that immerse the upper atmosphere’s ozone layer to various extents. Those rays are accountable for sunburn, degradation of some materials, and other effects as well. They can also be created artificially.

As we discussed, Ultraviolet (UV) light is the light that has a shorter wavelength with a higher frequency than visible light. Therefore, customarily anything with a wavelength between 4 nm and 400 nm is referred to as a UV light. So called near UV falls in the scale of 400-300 nmfar UV is in the range 300-200 nm, and extreme or vacuum UV is anything below 200 nm. The Sun is a strong UV emitter however only near UV outstretches the surface of the Earth as the ozone in the atmosphere captivates all wavelengths below 290 nm.

Imagine the brightest colours you have ever seen. You might as well have stared into a crisp blue sky. Perhaps you see bright green grass. You might even think of an amazing sunrise or sunset. If you have been wondering for a while, you know where the colours you see come from. They’re made from the waves of light bouncing off other objects. But would you believe that there are some light waves which cannot be witnessed by the average human eye?

It’s true! Normally, humans can see light with wavelengths between 380 and 700 nanometers (nm). All the colors of the rainbow ranging from red all the way down to violet lies between that range. However, the ultraviolet (UV) light has wavelengths smaller than 380 nm which means that they go unexamined by the human eye.

If you are thinking where the name “ultraviolet” comes from? You might already know that violet light has the largest wavelength of all the visible colours, that is, it voyages faster and has more potential than the other colours of light. The word “ultra-” means “beyond”. UV light waves travel at a faster rate when compared to the violet ones. Therefore, “ultraviolet” means this form of light is beyond violet, which is the fastest color we can see. Just because humans can’t see UV light doesn’t mean it doesn’t lay its impact on us. Most of the UV rays are soaked up by the Earth’s atmosphere. But, those that outstretch and reach us can give us sunburn and can cause other damage or health hazards. This is one of the primary reasons as to why the ozone layer is so crucial. Without it, more UV light would reach the Earth’s surface.

Is UV Light Invisible to Everyone?

The answer to this would be ‘no’ as people with a condition known as Aphakia are able to witness these UV light waves. Those with aphakia are missing an eye lens, often due to accident or genetics. The lack of this lens allows them to witness beyond the visible spectrum of light, however, it also leads to blurry vision and farsightedness.

In addition to that, some animals can see UV light. Researchers have known for a long time that bees have the same potential. Many birds and reptiles can also see through the visible spectrum. Until recently, scientists believed that UV light was invisible to all mammals. However, a recent study stated that most mammals probably can see these waves of light, and that includes dogs, cats, and reindeer. It is discovered that the lenses in their eyes enable UV light to easily pass through.

How about the other end of the spectrum of visible light? Red light has the longest wavelength commonly visible to humans. Light with longer wavelengths than red is called infrared. Scientists once believed no one could see infrared light. However, experts today believe that many humans have formed the tendency to see through, especially if more than one infrared photon hits the eye at once.

How do you think the world might appear if we could see UV light? Would you see a deeper shade of violet? Maybe it would be a completely new color in all!