Light5 - number of waves that pass by each second We like...

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Light Probably the most important aspect of light is that its speed in space is always the same - c is a constant . Actually, in some strange physics experiments people have been able to slow light down to very slow speeds, but those are under unusual circumstances and not what we see when we look up in the sky. As far as we're concerned, the speed of light is always the same! Don't forget that! Now, the speed of light doesn't care about the wavelength of the light; it can be long wavelength, short wavelength, or medium sized wavelength. In all cases the speed at which light travels is the same. Take a look at Figure 1. There are two different types of light shown, each with its own wavelength. They both travel at the same speed. Let's say we are going to do another experiment with the light. We are going to watch the two types of light pass by and we are going to count the
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Unformatted text preview: number of waves that pass by each second. We like doing these sorts of experiments, since we are strange scientists. Will we count the same number of peaks passing by each second? Here is a little animation showing the experiment - remember, both waves of light have to move at the same speed, regardless of their wavelength. This is another way to distinguish the different types of light. The one with more peaks squeezed together will give us a higher count, or you could say its peaks pass by more frequently, since both types travel at the same speed. In other words, you will count more peaks passing by each second for the shorter wavelength light. You could also say that it has a higher frequency compared to the longer wavelength light....
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This note was uploaded on 12/15/2011 for the course AST AST1002 taught by Professor Emilyhoward during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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