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Astro*Dictionary by Michael Erlewine





1 article for "Tyndall, John"

Tyndall, John [Astro*Index]

(1820-1893) Irish physicist. Born at Leighlinbridge, Carlow; died at Hindhead, Surrey, England.

A descendant of William Tyndale, a translator of the Bible, who was burned at the stake as a heretic in 1536. Rayleigh had shown that the light-scattering efficiency varied inversely as the fourth power of the wavelength. Thus, violet light, with half the wavelength of red light, would be scattered 16 times the amount the red light scattering. With this result, Tyndall explained the blue color of the sky. Dust particles in the atmosphere cause light waves at the blue end of the spectrum to be scattered most, with the effect that the sky appears blue.

See also:
♦ Light Spectrum


Astro*Index Copyright © 1997 Michael Erlewine