Thursday, June 11, 2009

Falling water always looks WHITE, why?

Falling water always looks WHITE,why?

i think its due to the phenomenon of scattering of light due to water molecules.

i think it might be due to lather so thats why it is white

See in case of falling water, there are impurities in far greater amounts than the concentration of water molecules themselves. and these impurity molecules generally after scattering normally gives out white colour.Water molecules also scatter light no doubt, but impurity atoms generally dominating and with Rayleigh's criterion we observe water to be white.

what if we consider pure water like BISLERY ????i mean u wanna to say that its becoz of impurities ,bt i think that its t case in case of pure water too.

in case of pure water, theoretically EXTREMELY PURE WATER should appear blue and thats how it is in case of pure mountain water.

u can think of it analogus to fibre optics of paper going transparent when soaked in oil and otherwise white
well to be prescise when water is falling the roplets are running here n there so the distribution of refractive indexes is non-uniform
and where tranparent molecules have refraative index n are distribulted non uniformly
the thing look white best eg is paper made of cellulose which is otherwise transpaerent but paper is white
in case of falling water somehere there is water droplet in somewhere air molecules so momentraly u get a situation where u see the water white
this is why instead if u make the water fall slowly it falls with uniform distribution and remains transparent

which answer is correct?


  1. Because Water is Pure! So White!
    White Signifies Purity!

  2. #1 is the closest. each tiny droplet of water scatters light. not molecules

  3. It's because the photo above was taken over a long period of time. It looks white because as the droplets of water fell, light reflected through them and hit the film/sensor. Over the span of a second or more, many droplets of water reflected enough light to expose the entire area where the water has fallen.

    If you take a quick picture, you wouldn't see the same affect because you're taking the impression of light hitting the film/sensor from very particular points.

  4. The last is quite correct. Water droplets scatter light, but that'll cause a rainbow-like reflection. In case of waterfalls, though, due to the thickness of the water and randomness of droplets, all the light is scattered and reflected by the multitude of droplets of various orientations at every point. Thus, we see white light.
    As the last answer correctly states, smoothly falling water (such as local city fountain-falls) are always transparent due to preservation of uniformity.