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optics problem

When we light a torch at night ,we can see the straight beam of light from sideways but light travels in a straight line so how we are able to see this beam of light from side? please someone clarify!

Note by Siddharth Singh
2 years, 10 months ago

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Good Question!

You are able to see it because some of the light is scattered, i.e, reflected by the dust particles in the path of the beam to your eyes. That won't happen if you tried the experiment in a perfect vaccum

Agnishom Chattopadhyay - 2 years, 10 months ago

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My guess is that it is because of the light reflected by the particles in the air. Not sure though.

Siddhartha Srivastava - 2 years, 10 months ago

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