Gas is colorless and basically invisible from the naked eye. What’s the wavy-gas that we see in extreme heats?

159 views

[ad_1]

Gas is colorless and basically invisible from the naked eye. What’s the wavy-gas that we see in extreme heats?

In: Chemistry
[ad_2]

It’s the air being heated. Gas might be transparent, but it is still a solid medium that light passes through. When the air is hot enough, it begins to rise rapidly from the surface. This significant disturbance causes the light passing though it to become distorted. Think how when water is clear and undisturbed it’s easy to see though it, but when it’s disturbed the ripples bend light. Same principle.

The distortion of light passing through air. Slight changes in density of the heated air cause the light passing through it to bend a bit.

Gases come in many colours, air is colourless until you look at the sky and it clearly isn’t. Anyway you can see “waves” from hot air rising. The hot air is less dense and refracts light differently from the air it rises through. Essentially the air is always a lens your brain is ignoring and the rising hot air makes imperfections big enough that you notice