# class11a - What is the relation between wavelength and...

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What is the relation between wavelength and period of a wave? In one period of a wave, one full cycle (peak through valley and back to peak) passes by. That means that the wave has moved by one wavelength. Since speed is distance traveled / time spent, and a wave moves a distance of one wavelength in a time of one period, its speed must be: speed = distance / time = wavelength / period v = λ / p We more often use frequency = 1 / period. Then: speed = wavelength x frequency v = λ x f

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What is light? We need two ways of looking at light: It is an electromagnetic wave. We often think of radio waves this way. In fact they are just very long wavelength light. It is also a shower of particles called photons. x-rays are usually thought of as photons. They are very short wavelength light. For visible light we need both pictures.
What is a photon? Photons are small bunches of light waves. Each photon carries a certain amount of energy. What is energy?

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class11a - What is the relation between wavelength and...

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