About This Chapter
Light & Geometrical Optics - Chapter Summary
The properties of light, and light itself, infuse everything with which we come into contact and provide the basis of all energy in the world. This chapter on light and geometrical optics dissects this complex subject into several accessible lessons. Some of the topics highlighted in the chapter are:
- Electromagnetic waves
- The seven major regions of the electromagnetic spectrum, electromagnetic radiation, and spectroscopy
- Diffraction, including single- and double-slit refraction as well as Huygen's Principle
- Polarization of light and Malus's Law
- Color, infrared radiation, and the nature of light
- Reflection, diffuse reflection, and refraction and dispersion
- Mirrors, transparent and opaque materials, and lenses
- Ray tracing
Our instructors are top-notch experts in light science and will present the information in videos that are both informative and interesting. The quizzes that follow each lesson will give you a chance to practice concept synthesis and information retention. Flex your memory muscles with a multiple-choice exam at the end of the chapter, returning to any specific information you may have forgotten using our handy video-tags, which are available in every lesson.
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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. What is Electromagnetic Radiation? - Wavelength, Spectrum & Energy
Light, microwaves, X-rays, and cell phone transmissions are all examples of electromagnetic radiation. Read more about this fascinating, mostly invisible phenomenon that has been harnessed by humans for so many purposes. A quiz is included.
6. 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.
7. Infrared Radiation: Definition, Uses & Effects
This lesson will explain what infrared radiation is and discuss a number of practical uses and effects of infrared, including its connection to climate change and the way the atmosphere responds to infrared waves. A short quiz will follow.
8. Spectroscopy: Definition and Types
In this video lesson, we will introduce and discuss different spectroscopic techniques used by scientists in an analytical lab. We will understand the importance of these techniques and show how they can be employed in identification and analysis.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. 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.
15. 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.
16. 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.
17. Mirrors: Difference Between Plane & Spherical
After watching this lesson, you will be able to explain what a mirror is and how plane mirrors and spherical mirrors are different, including the images they produce. A short quiz will follow.
18. Thin Lenses: Types & Measurement
We are around many thin lenses throughout our daily lives, but most of us don't really know what this means. In this lesson, we'll explore the measurements of lenses, the common types of thin lenses, and the different ways they affect light.
19. How the Combination of Lenses Improves Optical Aberration
Even the best simple lenses can come with some basic problems. In this lesson, we'll examine the issue of optical aberrations and see how we can fix them with more complex lenses.
20. Ray Tracing with Mirrors: Reflected Images
After watching this lesson, you will be able to explain what a mirror is and use ray tracing diagrams, along with the law of reflection, to explain what you see when you look in a mirror. A short quiz will follow.
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