Light Waves Facts: Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:05 What Are Light Waves?
  • 0:50 Types
  • 2:35 How Visible Light Waves Work
  • 3:25 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Tiffany Hightower

Tiffany is a certified elementary school teacher. She has a B.A. in English, education certification and a master's degree in education from Central Michigan University.

Light waves are all around you. In this lesson, you'll learn about different kinds of light waves, how they work, and how they are used every day. Explore this lesson to discover some surprising facts about light waves.

What Are Light Waves?

Did you know that light waves are all around you, even when it's dark? You use light waves all the time, like when you play video games with wireless controllers and change the channel on your television using a remote control. How do light waves help you do these things? Well, light waves carry messages from one device to another, so they tell your game console or television what button you're pushing.

So what are they? Light waves are forms of moving energy made of tiny microscopic particles called photons. Scientists usually refer to light waves as electromagnetic waves because they make up what is known as the electromagnetic spectrum. The term electromagnetic means the waves are both electric and magnetic.


The electromagnetic spectrum is made up of seven types of waves, and where they sit on the spectrum depends on the size of the wave and how fast the wave vibrates, which is referred to as its frequency.

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