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Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Happy B-day Lord Rayleigh (by sciencemug)
Happy B-day Lord Rayleigh! (by sciencemug)
[The picture of J.W. Strutt-Lord Rayleigh is adapted from a Public Domain image by sciencemug (source:]

John William Strutt (aka Lord Rayleigh) was born this day in 1842. The man, a physicist, found out that the sky is blue 'cause the tiny molecules that compose the atmosphere do a trick, called scattering, to the sunlight. It's something that has to do with the fact that light is an electromagnetic wave, colours have different wavelenghts, molecules in the air are mean little things that manage to mess up only with colours with short wavelenghts, like our friend, Mr. Blue (aka 'Shorty'). So the other colours pass through the atmosphere like pros, while Shorty, here, it is all 'scattered' around... 

That's the story, more or less...

But maybe it's not like that, maybe it's just that you, human beings, you all are poets, in the flourishing, clumsy, bizarre depth of your chests. So when your self-consciousness emerged along the puzzling misty path of evolution and your eyes were fuelled for the first time by this new prodigious gift from semi-casuality, you, human beings, you poets and chanters, you simply decided that your sky is blue, 'cause blue fits it. Not too strong, as a colour, to burden the spectacle of it, not too dull to lessen its simple, pure, absolute majesty. 

Well, I said may be, no? Bhà...

Ah, by the way, my lord Rayleigh, there, he won a Nobel Prize in 1904 for he (and this dude, Sir Ramsay) discovered the gas argon (you know, that stuff that is used in lighting and is less than 1% of the above mentioned atmosphere of yours). 

Ah, by the way 2 the return of the bad jokes, what else a Lord and a Sir could have discovered if not a noble gas...

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