All About Light-Physics

Categories: LightPhysicsScience
About this essay


* Light is part of the electro-magnetic spectrum, the spectrum is the collection of all waves, which include noticeable light, Microwaves, radio waves (AM, FM, SW ), X-Rays, and Gamma Rays.

* In the late 1600s, essential concerns were raised, asking if light is comprised of particles, or is it waves.? * Sir Isaac Newton, held the theory that light was made up of small particles. In 1678, Dutch physicist, Christian Huygens, thought that light was comprised of waves vibrating up and down perpendicular to the instructions of the light travels, and for that reason formulated a way of imagining wave propagation.

* This became understood as ‘Huygens’ Concept’. Huygens theory was the effective theory of light wave motion in 3 measurements. Huygen, recommended that light wave peaks form surface areas like the layers of an onion. In a vacuum, or other uniform mediums, the light waves are round, and these wave surfaces advance or spread out as they take a trip at the speed of light.

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* In 1803, Thomas Young studied the disturbance of light waves by shining light through a screen with 2 slits similarly separated, the light emerging from the 2 slits, expanded according to Huygen’s concept. Ultimately the 2 wave fronts will overlap with each other, if a screen was placed at the point of the overlapping waves, you would see the production of light and dark locations * Later on in 1815, Augustin Fresnel supported Young’s try outs mathematical computations. * In 1900 Max Planck proposed the existence of a light quantum, a finite packet of energy which depends upon the frequency and velocity of the radiation.

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* In 1905 Albert Einstein had proposed a solution to the problem of observations made on the behaviour of light having qualities of both wave and particle theory. From work of Slab on emission of light from hot bodies, Einstein recommended that light is made up of small particles called photons, and each photon has energy. * Light theory branches in to the physics of quantum mechanics, which was conceptualised in the twentieth century. Quantum mechanics deals with behaviour of nature on the atomic scale or smaller sized. * As an outcome of quantum mechanics, this provided the evidence of the dual nature of light and therefore not a contradiction.


Light is a very complex system to model perfectly, which is why you see very few computer generated images that look photo-realistic. As is always the case, the more complex and realistic your simulation is, the more computation you will have to do, and thus the slower it will run. As a programmer, you have to decide what payoffs you are willing to make, whether you want your program to look amazing, and thus take an hour to render a single image, or to run at 60 frames per second and look like a cartoon.

One Photon

Light consists of tiny packets of energy called photons. A photon is both a particle and a wave, meaning that it can exhibit wave behaviour or particle behaviour as it pleases. These packets are emitted from an energy source, and travel in straight lines until they interact with an object. Light can also be totally weird and spooky if it feels like it.


A photon can do one of several things when it hits an object. * Reflection: The photon bounces off the object. * Absorption: The photon is absorbed, and gives the object it’s energy. * Refraction: The photon travels through the object and changes direction depending on the properties of the object and it’s surroundings. * Diffraction: If the photon just misses the object, or passes between two objects which are very close together, it can change direction.


* RAY MODEL – The simplest mode of light. * WAVE MODEL – Color is naturally described in terms of wavelength. Required in order to explain the interaction of light with material objects of sizes comparable to or smaller than a wavelength of light. * PARTICLE MODEL – Required in order to explain the interaction of light with individual atoms. At the atomic level, it becomes apparent that the beam of light has a certain graininess to it.


The speed of light in vacuum, commonly denoted c, is a universal physical constant important in many areas of physics. Its value is 299,792,458 metres per second, a figure that is exact because the length of the metre is defined from this constant and the international standard for time.


* Light and similar forms of radiation are made up of moving electric and magnetic forces. A simple example of motion similar to these radiation waves can be made by dropping a pebble into a pool of water. * The up-and-down motion is transverse, or at right angles, to the outward motion of the waves. This type of wave motion is called transverse-wave motion. The transverse waves spread out in expanding circles until they reach the edge of the pool. * Light radiates from its source in all directions until it is absorbed or diverted by some substance.

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All About Light-Physics. (2016, Nov 21). Retrieved from

All About Light-Physics

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