You woke up after a night of heavy snow. You look out the window and you see a white world. But when you turn on a tap and freezer, you notice that liquid water and ice often look transparent. But they are both water. But why is snow white?
To understand how H2O, an inherently transparent substance, can turn into something white, physics professor Kenneth Libbrecht of the California Institute of Technology might help you: “If you take a piece of glass in your hand, it’s transparent just like water, you see behind it. Why don’t you break this glass with a hammer and break it into little pieces of glass, and now you’ll see a white pile.”
According to Libbrecht, the key to this difference is optics: How light interacts with versatile surfaces such as broken glass by interacting with a transparent but single surface like a window glass explains everything. The same applies to profits.
According to optical science, light is either transmitted or reflected when it hits an object. When light hits a smooth surface, such as one piece of glass or ice, its visible rays are usually transmitted directly without distortion. For this reason, glass and ice often appear clear because our eyes see objects only by processing light waves reflected from or cooled by the object.
However, in the case of broken glass, there are now countless rough surfaces. When light hits these uneven surfaces, it reflects and dissipies in all directions. According to the University Collaboration for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), the same applies to snowdrings of hundreds (maybe millions) of tiny ice crystals that vary in shape and structure.
Since the light hitting glass fragments or snowdles is evenly reflected back, these rays contain all wavelength colors of visible light (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indignation blue and purple) that appear white together. That’s why when we look at the black, our eyes only see white.
Is there such a thing as red snow?
Even if the natural color of the abdomen is white, it also gets more expressive shades. Pink or red snow, also known as “watermelon snow”, has also been documented. The cause of red snow comes from a kind of cold-loving freshwater algae.
Similarly, other particles and organisms can give black color. Therefore, Libbrecht hypothetically agrees that the abdomen can get any color of the rainbow.
For something that is impossible to happen, we advise you to think again before saying, “Only when it snows red.”