Tyndall effect

Tyndall effect : It owes its name to the Irish scientist John Tyndall , who baptized it with his last name in 1869 .


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  • 1 Explanation of the phenomenon
  • 2 Examples
    • 1 Solutions and dispersions
  • 3 Concepts, Dictionary
  • 4 Sources

Explanation of the phenomenon

When a ray of light type passes into a transparent container containing a solution of the true calls, it becomes impossible to visualize it, which is why it is often said that it is an optically empty solution; but if instead, for example, a ray of light passes through a dark room, the path that the light beam will have will be marked by a correlation of particles that reflect and refract light radiation, becoming centers that emit light.

This example can be extrapolated to colloidal solutions, where exactly the same thing happens; the particles (miscelas), have the property of reflecting or refracting the light that reaches them, thus the light path followed in colloidal solutions is seen thanks to colloidal particles, which become converted and act as true light emitters.

This effect or phenomenon is known as the Tyndall effect, being more intense, the shorter the wavelength of the incident ray; Therefore, the set of colors that make up the solar spectrum are the preferred ones that are diffracted (blue and violet), which explains the bluish color that the atmosphere or the sea has. Similarly, the effect is all the stronger the larger the size of said colloidal particles.


The Tyndall effect is clearly seen when car headlights are used in fog or when sunlight enters a dusty room, and it is also responsible for the turbidity presented by an emulsion of two transparent liquids such as water and olive oil.

Solutions and dispersions

The Tyndall effect, we should not confuse it with fluorescence, from which it differs where when illuminating the fluorescent-type solutions with a light beam where the blue and violet colors have been eliminated, the characteristic cloudy appearance disappears, a fact that does not it happens in colloids. Furthermore, in colloids, scattered light is polarized, whereas in fluorescent ones it is not.

The light-scattering property of micelles has been visualized through a device known as an ultramicroscope. Said method tries to laterally illuminate the colloidal particles that are in the dark background, for which the preparation is placed in a glass block forming an oblique parallelepiped, where the faces of this form a base with an angle of 51º. When a ray of light penetrates one of the faces, instead of being refracted, it will be fully reflected, tangentially illuminating the particles that make up the colloidal preparation.

Concepts, Dictionary

Tyndall Effect – Jump to: navigation, search Rays of light crossing through a fog bank The Tyndall Effect is the phenomenon that helps by scattering light to determine if a homogeneous mixture is really a solution or a system. Wikipedia Spanish

Tyndall Effect – The Tyndalles Effect is the phenomenon that helps by means of light scattering to determine if a homogeneous mixture is really a solution or colloidal systems, such as suspensions or emulsions. It is named after the Irish scientist. Universal Encyclopedia

Tyndall phenomenon – Eng. Tyndall phenomenon Exudates in the anterior chamber consisting of proteins, cells (leukocytes, lymphocytes, plasma cells) and fibrin by transudation of these elements from the blood vessels. Tyndall. Tyndall effect. Ophthalmology Dictionary

John Tyndall – (Leighlinbridge (County Carlow), Ireland, August 2, 1820 , December 4 , 1893 ). He was an Irish physicist, known for his study of colloids. He investigated the so-called Tyndall effect, which was called that. Wikipedia Spanish.

John Tyndall – (1820 1893), British physicist. He investigated the so-called Tyndall effect. When a relatively narrow beam of light passes through a colloid such as dust particles in the air, you deflect light and appear in the beam as … Universal Encyclopedia


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