Ch 5: Light & Electromagnetic Waves

About This Chapter

This chapter can help you gain full comprehension of light and electromagnetic waves as you work on a class assignment, study for a test or aim to boost your grades. Review fun lessons, take short quizzes and utilize other study resources to learn more about this subject.

Light & Electromagnetic Waves - Chapter Summary

Top instructors have developed engaging online lessons you can access anytime to study light and electromagnetic waves. View the lessons using any computer or mobile device to enjoy an in-depth examination of the nature of light, Huygen's Principle, wave-particle duality and much more. Find out how much you understand about each lesson you study by taking its accompanying quiz. Use the practice exam to test your knowledge of the entire chapter. When finished, you should be ready to:

  • Define and discuss the sources and properties of electromagnetic waves
  • List the seven major regions of the electromagnetic spectrum
  • Describe opaque and transparent materials in electromagnetic waves
  • Discuss the basics of color, including white light, absorption and reflection
  • Explain Malus's Law and the polarization of light
  • Outline Brewster's Law and polarization by reflection
  • Explain the interference pattern of single-slit, double-slit and multiple-slit diffraction
  • Identify the concept of thin film interference
  • Use equations to calculate the energy and momentum of a photon

14 Lessons in Chapter 5: Light & Electromagnetic Waves
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Electromagnetic Waves: Definition, Sources & Properties

1. Electromagnetic Waves: Definition, Sources & Properties

In this lesson, learn the basics of electromagnetic waves and how they make up the electromagnetic spectrum. We will explore the major trends and categories within the spectrum, as well as the various sources of electromagnetic waves.

The 7 Major Regions of the Electromagnetic Spectrum

2. 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.

The Nature of Light: Origin, Spectrum & Color Frequency

3. 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.

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.

Transparent and Opaque Materials in Electromagnetic Waves

5. Transparent and Opaque Materials in Electromagnetic Waves

What makes an object transparent or opaque? How does light pass through some objects and not others? And what about the other types of electromagnetic waves? We'll investigate all these questions in this lesson about the transparency and opacity of materials.

Energy & Momentum of a Photon: Equation & Calculations

6. Energy & Momentum of a Photon: Equation & Calculations

After watching this lesson, you will be able to explain what wave-particle duality is, provide the equations for the energy and momentum of a photon of light, and use those equations to solve problems. A short quiz will follow.

Polarization of Light & Malus's Law

7. Polarization of Light & Malus's Law

After watching this video, you will be able to explain what polarization of light is, list a number of examples of how polarization of light is used, state Malus's Law, and use it to solve problems involving the intensity of light through a polarizer.

Polarization by Reflection & Brewster's Law

8. Polarization by Reflection & Brewster's Law

After watching this lesson, you will be able to explain what polarization by reflection is, give a few examples of polarization in everyday life, explain Brewster's Law descriptively and use the equation to solve problems. A short quiz will follow.

Diffraction & Huygen's Principle

9. Diffraction & Huygen's Principle

After watching this video, you will be able to explain what diffraction is, provide some real-life examples of diffraction, state Huygen's Principle, and explain how Huygen's Principle applies to those real-life examples. A short quiz will follow.

Single-slit Diffraction: Interference Pattern & Equations

10. Single-slit Diffraction: Interference Pattern & Equations

After watching this lesson, you will be able to explain what single-slit diffraction is, describe and picture the pattern that it creates on a distant screen and use the equation of single-slit diffraction to solve problems. A short quiz will follow.

Double-slit Diffraction: Interference Pattern & Equations

11. Double-slit Diffraction: Interference Pattern & Equations

This lesson explores double-slit diffraction, including the significance of Young's double slit experiment and how the diffraction pattern forms. You will also learn to use equations to calculate the positions of minima and maxima in the pattern.

Multiple-slit Diffraction: Interference Pattern & Equations

12. Multiple-slit Diffraction: Interference Pattern & Equations

After watching this lesson, you will be able to describe the diffraction pattern produced by multiple slits, as well as how it differs from single-slits and double-slits. You will also be able to list examples of diffraction gratings in real life and solve problems to figure out the position of the maxima and minima produced when light in shined through a diffraction grating. A short quiz will follow.

How Thin Film Interference Works

13. How Thin Film Interference Works

After watching this video, you will be able to explain how thin film interference works, give examples of thin film interference in everyday life and solve simple problems. A short quiz will follow.

Wave-Particle Duality: Concept, Explanation & Examples

14. 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.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Support