Human Eye and Colourful World – CBSE Notes for Class 10 Science

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1. The human eye is one of the most valuable and sensitive sense organs. It enables us to see the wonderful world and the colours around us.

2. The eyeball is approximately spherical in shape with a diameter of about 2.3 cm.

3. Most of the refraction for the light rays entering the eye occurs at the outer surface of the cornea. The crystalline lens merely provides the finer adjustment of focal length required to focus.

4. The human eye has the following parts :

  1. Cornea : The transparent spherical membrane covering the front of the eye.
  2. Iris: The coloured diaphragm between the cornea  and lens.
  3. Pupil: The small hole in the iris.
  4. Eye lens : It is a transparent lens made of jelly like material.
  5. Ciliary muscles: These muscles hold the lens in position.
  6. Retina: The back surface of the eye.
  7. Blind spot: The point at which the optic nerve leaves the eye. An image formed at this point is not sent to the brain.
  8. Aqueous humour: A clear liquid region between the cornea and the lens.
  9. Vitreous humour: The space between eye lens and retina is filled with another liquid called vitreous humour.

5. In the eye, the image is formed on the retina by successive refractions at the cornea, the aqueous humour, the lens and the vitreous humour. Electrical signals then travel along the optic nerve to the brain to be interpreted. In good light, the yellow spot is most sensitive to detail and the image is automatically formed there.

6. Accommodation: The ability of the eye to focus both near and distant objects, by adjusting its focal length, is called the accommodation of the eye or the ability of the ciliary muscles to change the focal length of the eye lens is called accommodation.

7. Defects of the Eye : Although the eye is one of the most remarkable organs in the body, it may have several abnormalities, which can often be corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses, or surgery. The various defects from which an eye can suffer are (i) Hypermetropia or long sightedness, (ii) Myopia or shortsightedness and (iii) Astigmatism, (iv) Presbyopia.

8. Hypermetropia, hyperopia, or long sightedness : A person suffering from this defect can see distant objects I clearly but cannot see nearby objects clearly. In this defect, the near point lies farther away than 25 cm. Hypermetropia (far sightedness — the image of nearby objects is focussed beyond the retina) is corrected by using a convex lens of suitable power. The eye loses
its power of accommodation at old age.

9. Hypermetropia is due to the following reasons :

  1. Either the hyperopic eyeball is too short or
  2. The ciliary muscle is unable to change the shape
    of the lens enough to properly focus the image i.e. the focal length of the eye lens increases.

10. Myopia or short sightedness or near sightedness: A person suffering frommyopia or short sightedness can see nearby objects clearly but cannot see the far away objects clearly. Myopia (short sightedness — the image of distant objects is focussed before the retina) is corrected by using a concave lens of suitable power.

11. This defect is due to the following reasons :

  1. Either the eyeball is longer than normal or
  2. The maximum focal length (due to excessive curvature of the cornea) of the lens is insufficient to produce a clearly formed image on the retina.

12. A person may also have an eye defect known as astigmatism, in which light from a point-source produces a line image on the retina. A person suffering from this defect cannot see in all directions equally well i.e., he cannot see the vertical and horizontal lines simultaneously. This condition arises either when the cornea or the crystalline lens or both are not perfectly spherical. Astigmatism can be corrected with lenses having different curvatures in two mutually perpendicular directions i.e., cylindrical lens.

13. When a person suffers from both, the myopia as well as Hypermetropia, his spectacles for correction have bifocal lenses. The upper half is a concave lens for distant vision and lower half is a convex lens for reading.

14. Presbyopia is that defect of human eye, due to which an old person cannot read and write comfortably. That is why Presbyopia is also called old sight.

15. To correct Presbyopia, an old person has to use spectacles with a convex lens of suitable focal length, or power as explained already.

16. The cause of Hypermetropia is decrease in length of eyeball or increase In focal length of eye lens. But the cause of Presbyopia is only increase in focal length of eye lens. The eyeball, in Presbyopia, has normal length.
the vision of the eye decreases, leading sometimes to total loss of vision. The problem is overcome by cataract surgery i.e., removal of the eye lens, and its replacement by a lens of suitable focal length.

18. We need two eyes because a human being has a horizontal field of view of about 150 ° with one eye and of about 180 ° with two eyes. Thus, two eyes provide us wider horizontal field of view.
With one eye, the world looks flat, i.e., two dimensional only. With two eyes, the view is three dimensional, i.e., dimension of depth is added to our view.

19. As our two eyes are separated by a few centimetres, each eye observes a slightly different image. Our brain combines the two views into one and we get to know how close or far away the things seen are.

20. By donating our eyes after we die, one pair of our eyes can give vision to two corneal blind people. Eye donors may belong to any sex or any age group. People suffering from diabetes, hypertension, asthma or any other non- communicable diseases can donate eyes. People who have been using spectacles or those operated for cataract can also donate eyes.

21. The smallest distance, at which the eye can see objects clearly without strain, is called the near point of the eye or the least distance of distinct vision. For a young adult with normal vision, it is about 25 cm.

22. Persistence of vision of the eye: The image of an object persists on the retina for 1/16 second, even after the removal of the object. The sequence of still pictures taken by a movie camera is projected on a screen at a rate of about 24 images or more per second. The successive impressions of images on the screen appear to merge smoothly into one another to give us the feeling of moving images.

23. The large numbers of light sensitive cells contained in the retina of the eye are of two types: rod shaped cells which respond to brightness or intensity of light and cone shaped cells, which respond to colour of light. Thus/cone shaped cells enable us to distinguish between different colours.

24. When a person cannot distinguish between different colours, he is said to be colour blind though his vision may otherwise be normal. Colour blindness is a genetic disorder which occurs by inheritance. So far, there is no cure for colour blindness.

25. Farpoint: The farthest point upto which a short sighted eye can see clearly is called the far point of the eye. For a normal eye, the far point is infinity.

26. Near point : The nearest point upto which a long sighted eye can see clearly is called the near point of the eye. For a normal human eye, of an adult, the near point is about 25 cm from the eye.

27. Least cfistance of distinct vision: The minimum distance upto which an eye can see clearly is called the legist distance of distinct vision ; it is normally denoted by D. The least distance of distinct vision is equal to the distance between the eye and its near point. For a normal human eye, this distance is around 25 cm.

28. The distance between far point and near point of the eye is called range of vision of the eye.

29. When white light passes through a prism, the violet light bends most and the red light bends the least. Dispersion of light is the phenomenon of splitting of white light into its constituent seven colours on passing through a glass prism. The band of seven colours so obtained is called visible spectrum.

30. The seven colours of white light are violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange and red. It is remembered by the acronym VIBGYOR.

31. Isaac Newton was the first to use a prism to obtain a spectrum of sunlight.

32. Spectrum is the band of distinct colours we obtain when white light is split by a prism.

33. Cause of dispersion : Every colour has its own characteristic wavelength/frequency. Different colours move with same speed in air/vacuum. But their speeds in refracting media like glass are different. Therefore, refractive index of the medium for different colours is different. As a result, different colours undergo different deviations on passing through the prism. Hence, different colours emerge from the prism along different directions.

34. The speed of light in vacuum is same for all wavelengths, but the speed in a material substance is different for different wavelengths.

35. In any medium other than air/vacuum red light travels the fastest and violet light travels the slowest.

36. The most familiar form of electromagnetic radiation may be defined as that part of the spectrum that the human eye can detect. Light is produced by the rearrangement of electrons in atoms and molecules. The various wavelengths of visible light are classified with colours ranging from violet (λ = 4 x 10-7 m) to red (λ = 7 x 10-7 m). The eye’s sensitivity is a function of wavelength, the sensitivity being a maximum at a wavelength of about λ = 5.6 x 10-7 m (yellow-green).

37. When we pass white light through two ideptical prisms held side by side with their refracting edges in opposite directions; the first prism disperses white light into seven colours and the second prism recombines the seven colours into white light. Thus, light emerging from 2nd prism is white.

38. A rainbow is formed due to dispersion of light by tiny droplets of water which act as prisms.

39. Atmospheric refraction is the cause of twinkling of stars, advance sunrise and delayed sunset.

40. Scattering of light causes the blue colour of sky and the reddening of the Sun at sunrise and sunset.