Cloud Simulator

An artistic interpretation of the way light behaves inside of a cloud

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The Motivation

We ask why the sky is blue so much it has almost become cliche, but there is anohter major feature when we look up, clouds. Why are clouds white? they are made of water, but when we look in to a glass of it we see right through, and when we look in to a pond or ocean it looks light blue green. So why are clouds white. In my exploration of this I came across this explanation on The Weather Channel. Prompted by my curiosity and knowledge of random walks I set out to make a helpful visual to depict this process.

The Science

Light Coming from the sun is aproximatly evenly spread across the visual sprectrum. If we imagine a single ray of light it travels through the atmosphere untill it hits the cloud. But what does it hit exactly? Clouds are made up of many little droplets of water. So this is what our light ray hits. When light hits water it, refracts. refraction is the fact that light changes the angle it's traveling at when it passes through a materiel. It's important to note that different colors of light respond more to this effect. This means that if a beam of light consisting of all the visible colors hits a drop of water the red will come out at a different angle the orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. This is what makes rainbows!. So when are lightray from the sun hits a little drople of water it splits up in to it's consituent colors and they radiate out at different angles. The angle that they are emidited is very dependant on the individual water droplet and essentially random.

The Code