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Ch 20: HiSET: Principles of Light

About This Chapter

Get ready for the HiSET Science exam through lessons in the principles of light and the color spectrum. Brush up on your knowledge of angle of incidences, the Doppler Effect and the electromagnetic spectrum through the engaging videos in this chapter.

Principles of Light - Chapter Summary

Use the lessons in this chapter to review the basic principles of light. Prepare for questions on refraction and diffraction, Snell's Law and color through our online video lessons; some of the topics covered in this section include:

  • Origin of light
  • Spectrum and color frequency
  • Reflection
  • Color
  • Refraction and dispersion
  • Diffraction
  • Interference
  • The Doppler Effect
  • Electromagnetic spectrum

This chapter has multiple video lessons that are taught by experienced instructors. The 5-10 minute lessons feature fun illustrations and real-world examples to present key points. Additional resources include transcripts with vocabulary terms, multiple-choice quizzes and a chapter exam.

HiSET Science Objectives

Similar to the GED, the HiSET is a high school equivalency exam available in a select group of states. It assesses your knowledge in five subject areas: reading, writing, math, science and social studies. The science portion is 80 minutes long and includes 50 questions that test your ability to:

  • Use science content knowledge
  • Apply principles of scientific inquiry
  • Interpret and evaluate scientific information

The science questions cover content within the physical, Earth and life sciences. Light questions are covered within the physical science content area, which make up 29% of the test. Our lessons can help you prepare for questions related to white light, color frequency and more.

10 Lessons in Chapter 20: HiSET: Principles of Light
The Nature of Light: Origin, Spectrum & Color Frequency

1. The Nature of Light: Origin, Spectrum & Color Frequency

This lesson introduces the basics of visible light and color. Learn how the visible light spectrum is divided into the six color ranges. We'll also discuss why different people name colors in different ways.

Reflection: Angle of Incidence and Curved Surfaces

2. Reflection: Angle of Incidence and Curved Surfaces

How do waves reflect off of surfaces? How do we account for the images that we see reflected in various objects? Discover the answers to these questions as we investigate the rays and angles defining the law of reflection.

Diffuse Reflection: Definition, Examples & Surfaces

3. Diffuse Reflection: Definition, Examples & Surfaces

This lesson explores the law of reflection and how it applies to different surfaces and wave types. We'll learn the difference between specular and diffuse reflection and investigate how diffuse reflection affects our perception of sound and light.

Color: White Light, Reflection & Absorption

4. Color: White Light, Reflection & Absorption

What gives color to objects? How do light waves interact with materials to produce red and green or white and black? In this lesson, learn how white light is composed of all colors and how absorption and reflection influence our color perception.

Refraction & Dispersion: Definition, Snell's Law & Index of Refraction

5. Refraction & Dispersion: Definition, Snell's Law & Index of Refraction

Refraction explains why light bends in water. But, did you know that mathematical laws determine exactly how light waves are bent? In this lesson, we'll explore the mechanics of wave refraction, including Snell's Law and the index of refraction.

Diffraction: Relation to Sound & Light and Effects of Wavelength

6. Diffraction: Relation to Sound & Light and Effects of Wavelength

This lesson explores diffraction as one of the many behaviors of waves. Learn how diffraction occurs in sound and light waves and how it is affected by the wavelength of a wave. Find out how animals use diffraction to communicate and how scientists use it to study molecules.

Constructive and Destructive Interference

7. Constructive and Destructive Interference

What happens when one wave meets another? Do the waves converge to make one giant wave? Or, do they destroy each other? In this lesson, we'll explore the workings of wave interference.

The Doppler Effect: Definition, Examples & Applications

8. The Doppler Effect: Definition, Examples & Applications

What is the Doppler effect? How does it affect our perceptions of sound and light? In this lesson, learn how traveling wave sources can change the way we observe sound and light waves. Explore the applications of the Doppler effect on shock waves, sonic booms, and the movements of distant galaxies.

Wave-Particle Duality: Concept, Explanation & Examples

9. Wave-Particle Duality: Concept, Explanation & Examples

Is light a particle with mass and substance? Or, is it just a wave traveling through space? Most scientists say light is both a particle and a wave! Find out how they came to this strange conclusion as we learn about the theory of wave-particle duality.

The 7 Major Regions of the Electromagnetic Spectrum

10. The 7 Major Regions of the Electromagnetic Spectrum

This lesson will walk you through each of the major regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Explore the unique characteristics of X-rays, microwaves, radio waves, UV rays, infrared, gamma rays, and of course, visible light.

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