What is Tyndall effect?

The earth’s atmosphere is a heterogeneous mixture of minute particles. These particles include smoke, tiny water droplets, suspended particles of dust and molecules of air. When a beam of light strikes such fine particles, the path of the beam becomes visible. The light reaches us, after being reflected diffusely by these particles. The phenomenon of scattering of light by the colloidal particles is called Tyndall effect.

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The phenomenon of scattering of light by particles in a colloid or in a very fine suspension is called tyndall effect. The individual suspension particles scatter and reflect light, making the beam visible. The amount of scattering depends on the frequency of the light and density of the particles. As with Rayleigh scattering, blue light is scattered more strongly than red light by the Tyndall effect. Another way to look at it is that longer wavelength light is transmitted, while shorter wavelength light is reflected by scattering.

Examples of tyndall effect: Shining a flashlight beam into a glass of milk, The visible beam of headlights in fog is caused by the Tyndall effect. The water droplets scatter the light, making the headlight beams visible.