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March 31, 2017

#1818: Rayleigh Scattering

Rayleigh Scattering

[Science Girl asks Blondie a question which she answers while lifting her arm towards Science Girl.]

Science Girl: Why is the sky blue?

Blondie: Because air is blue.

[Megan walks in from behind Science Girl.]

Megan: No, the sky is blue because of Rayleigh scattering–

Blondie: Nah, it’s because air is blue. Blue light bounces off it and hits our eyes. Same as why anything is any color.

[Zoom in on Blondie’s face.]

Blondie: It’s why far-off mountains look blue – because of all the blue air in the way.

[Zoom out to Megan standing longer from Science Girl than Blondie who has thrown her arms out. Science Girl is facing directly out towards the reader.]

Megan: There’s a specific quantum mechanism by which–

Blondie: Yeah but there’s a physics mechanism for every color. You don’t have to get all quantum right away.

[Frameless panel with Science Girl looking up at Blondie who stands holding her hands on her sides. Megan speaks from off-panel.]

Megan (off-panel): …OK, I guess.

Blondie: Any other questions?

Science Girl: How do planes stay up?

[Blondie holds a finger up in front of Science Girl while Megan now is the one to throw out her arms.]

Megan: Well, the airflow–

Blondie: Tiny birds in the wings. Thousands. Flapping hard.

Science Girl: WOW!

Megan: NO!