Thursday, April 2, 2009

Thoughts from a Darkened Room

(or, the most emo thing I've said in years.)
I took a shower is complete darkness, save a bit of skyglow thru the small window - tonight. It was quite nice to get fully dark-adapted and see how much I could see with almost no illumination - haven't done that for a while.

I noted something which has been kicking around in my head for a while. When you're fairly dark-adapted and in a room with fairly homogenous darkness, then everything does not appear uniformly dark, but instead grainy. My idea, which may or may not be based in any sort of reality, is that each 'grain' is in fact a single photon, and that your brain sees higher concentrations of photons in an area as lighter, even though there aren't enough photons to see it as a uniform brightness. Any bright object - except for a dimly illuminated cloudy sky - is bright enough - has enough photons coming from it - that it's perceived as uniformly bright.

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