202 Lecture 7

202 Lecture 7 - Light: What is light? o It allows us to see...

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Light: What is light? o It allows us to see objects o It has color o It mixes to give us colors o It has brightness o It mixes to become brighter or dimmer o In vacuum it travels always at the same speed o It is electromagnetic in nature o A small fraction of the electromagnetic spectrum o There is more to light than meets the eye! Color is an intrinsic property of light o White light is a mixture of light of different colors o A prism, or a diffraction grating can separate light into its fundamental components (colors) o Each resulting color remains unchanged when it goes through a second prism The Nature of Light: o Light is emitted and absorbed as particles of electromagnetic energy called photons. o A photon is characterized by its color. o A brighter source of light emits more photons than a dimmer source. o Light travels in waves. As such, its behavior is different from that of ordinary objects. o The particle/wave duality of light is central to the behavior of the microscopic world. Waves: o Waves carry energy. A sound wave carries a density disturbance through the air. The waves in the Sea produce transversal displacements in the surface of the water. Electromagnetic waves carry electromagnetic energy through space. o As waves travel through a medium, the medium remains in place. o The motion of waves is very different from that of particles. o When more than one wave occupies the same space at the same time, the displacements combine (interfere) at every point. Constructive interference (effects add).
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202 Lecture 7 - Light: What is light? o It allows us to see...

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