Let me rephrase the question – Do we call the Visible Spectrum that because that’s what we can see or is there something different about that part of electromagnetic spectrum (ES) that allow vision to occur. Alternately, If light is dual in nature, being both a wave and a particle, is that the same for other parts of the ES?
Which brings me to the question that I’m most curious about; would it be possible for a creature exist that can see, the same way we see, but using frequencies from other areas of the ES?
No there’s nothing special about the visible spectrum, those are just the frequencies our eyes respond to. Some animals can indeed see in infrared or ultraviolet (butterflies, bees, mosquitos, some birds, etc). Yes the wave/particle duality applies to all frequencies.
The entire EM spectrum is technically light. The range we can see is “visible light” and there are creatures that see what we cannot such as infrared and ultraviolet
It would be possible (and there likely are) creatures that see entirely in a range inaccessible to us humans without special equipment, but I’m not sure what evolutionary benefit that would have.
The answer is both simple and complex: we call it the visible spectrum because that’s what we see. Other animals can see further into the ultraviolet or infra red; antennas can induce current from frequencies even further up the spectrum where we wouldn’t be able to sense individual photons of energy as easily.
The wavicle concept of radiation is consistent for the entire EM spectrum however.
As for creatures seeing in other areas of the spectrum: that’s where it gets tricky. Many animals can “see” electrical currents with sensors attuned to other areas of the spectrum: the most notable are sharks. Pigeons can “see” the earth’s electromagnetic field. Even we humans can “see” infra red with the nerves in our skin.
What you’ll notice there is that the physical properties required to sense EM radiation differ up and down the spectrum because of how the different frequencies interact with the very limited set of atoms (and therefore electron shells) that can exist.
So lets start with the fact that you’re talking specifically about what **we** can see. The visible spectrum is specific to humans other animals can actually see infrared and ultraviolet. I dont remember what animals can but you can likely find examples.
And no the visible spectrum isnt unique in that the sun also emits other wave lengths they just get refracted by the ozone layer(not all of them do but thats why depending on the location of the sun the sky will be a different color!) so we cant see them but ultraviolet and others are a part of the same spectrum and follow the same basic rules.
The only “difference” is that our eyes arent made to percieve them because wel frankly we dont need to. There is no biological advantage to seeing them for us. Other animals use them to hunt or track but we dont use those wavelengths for it so we didnt evolve to see them.
If stuff is unclear because i am incapable of explaining things please ask i am at a social gathering and any reason to not be social is a good one!
Light, EM radiation, photons, localized excitation of the EM field… these are different descriptions of the same thing. Visible light is just light our eyes have evolved to react to, but other animals have different visible spectra. Some animals can see polarization states of light, others see near-UV or UV, some snakes can “see” in IR through their pit organs.
There’s nothing special about the light itself, it’s just the structures life uses to interact with them.