Properties of Light

Properties of Light - The type of light produced by an...

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Properties of Light To decode the information stored in light, you pass the light through a prism or diffraction grating to create a spectrum ---any display of the intensity of light (EM radiation) at different wavelengths or frequencies (a picture or a graph of intensity vs. either wavelength or frequency). If white light is examined, then the spectrum will be a rainbow. The term intensity has a particular meaning here: it is the number of waves or photons of light reaching your detector; a brighter object is more intense but not necessarily more energetic. Remember that a photon's energy depends on the wavelength (or frequency) only, not the intensity. The photons in a dim beam of X-ray light are much more energetic than the photons in an intense beam of infrared light.
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Unformatted text preview: The type of light produced by an object will depend on its temperature, so let's digress slightly to investigate what ``temperature'' is. Temperature is a measure of the random motion (or energy) of a group of particles. Higher temperature (T) means more random motion (or energy). A natural scale would have zero motion at zero degrees (absolute zero). This scale is the Kelvin scale. It scales exactly like the Celsius system, but it is offset by 273 degrees. Here is a comparison of the Kelvin, Celsius, and Fahrenheit temperature scales: K C F-273-459 absolute zero 100-173-279.4 273 32 water freezes 310 37 98.6 human temperature 373 100 212 water boils (STP) 755 482 900 oven on ``clean'' setting 5840 5567 10053 Sun's temperature...
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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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Properties of Light - The type of light produced by an...

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