Does light mix prior to being seen?

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If you have a red light source and a blue light source, do the photons interact like waves, bounce off each other like particles, or just ignore each other entirely?
 
Well the photons themselves carry no color information... a photon is a photon is a photon.

The wavelength determines the colors we see, and a single lightsource gives off light at multiple wavelengths.
 
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Well the photos themselves carry no color information... a photon is a photon is a photon.

The wavelength determines the colors we see, and a single lightsource gives off light at multiple wavelengths.
My single light source green laser pointer says it makes coherent light that has a wavelength of 532nm.

Photons are governed by quantum mechanical physics. Photons have no mass, no electric charge, but do have 2 polarization states.
Unlike other sub-atomic particles, photons are not subject to the Pauli exclusion principle.
A photon has a wave vector that determines its wavelength and it's direction of propagation.

Quantum mechanics is difficult for humans to visualize because at the small scale sub-atomic particles like photons live, the particles don't react in a way human scale things do.
 
Well the photons themselves carry no color information... a photon is a photon is a photon.

The wavelength determines the colors we see, and a single lightsource gives off light at multiple wavelengths.

Well, yes. But will those wavelengths behave like sound and resonate/cancel upon interaction? Do photon "interact" at all, and if the don't can two photons coexist in the same space?

(will read Keith's wikipedia article in a bit)
 
Sounds like an experiment. Anyone got red and blue gels (I don't or I would). I'm guessing a red strobe plus a blue strobe, pointed at a while wall will give magenta fringed by red and blue; the amount of magenta depending on the overlap.

Any stage light folks here?
 
We would certainly see a magenta wall, but bear in mind our eyes see a composite makeup through wavelength-specific photoreceptor cells.
 
Sounds like an experiment. Anyone got red and blue gels (I don't or I would). I'm guessing a red strobe plus a blue strobe, pointed at a while wall will give magenta fringed by red and blue; the amount of magenta depending on the overlap.

Any stage light folks here?

More to the point, one could fire a strobe in a dark room, once with a red gel, then again with a blue gel. At that point, the light obviously would be impossible to have 'mixed'.
 
I think the original question is whether the individual light particles will change or whether they keep their respective characteristics (as to color/frequency). I am guessing the latter, but I will likely never know by first-hand observation.

And yes, I was originally referring to the overall appearance, having missed the mark (I think) on the original question.
 
The photos on the lightwave will interact with everything it is travelling through unless you are in a vacuum.

Each wavelength of light will react differently as it passes through the medium. The index of refraction for the medium is different depending on the wavelength of the light.

Something along those lines are what I was told about light when given a glass prism as a christmas present at some much too young of an age.:)

Now you have a red and blue light sources, if you added green then you could make the mix appear white again. As it is, depending on the mix of just the red and blue you will see other colors like purple, it will also depend on the wavelengths absorbed and reflected off the objects the lights are hitting.
 

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