Seeing in the light and in the dark

David R. Williams

The human eye is remarkably sensitive. The first stage in the process of seeing is the absorption of light in cells called rods and cones, which lie in the retina, a thin sheet of tissue at the back of the eye. The retina records the image of the world around you somewhat like film does in a camera. Light is composed of small packets of energy called photons, and the eye is so sensitive that the absorption of a single photon is all that is required to stimulate a single rod photoreceptor.

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