About This Chapter
Below is a sample breakdown of the Light in Astronomy chapter into a 5-day school week. Based on the pace of your course, you may need to adapt the lesson plan to fit your needs.
|Day||Topics||Key Terms and Concepts Covered|
Speed of light
| Wavelength, amplitude, period, frequency, speed;|
Definition and characteristics of light, photon or light quantum, frequency, wavelength;
Definition of photon, energy, wavelength;
Distance, light year, AU, lookback time
|Tuesday|| Nature of light;|
Regions of the electromagnetic spectrum;
|Origin of light, visible light spectrum, electromagnetic spectrum, visible light region, white light;|
Electromagnetic spectrum, gamma rays, X-rays;
Radio waves, microwaves, infrared radiation, visible light, ultraviolet light, X-rays, gamma rays;
Reflection of waves, incident ray, reflected ray, angle of reflection, how diffuse reflection from a rough surface influences sound and light waves
|Wednesday||Refraction and dispersion; |
|Definition of refraction and dispersion, Snell's law, index of refraction;|
Diffraction's relation to light and sound, effect of wavelength, infrasound, ultrasound;
How resonance impacts the transmission of waves, resonant frequency;
What determines color, white light, selective absorption, pigments
|Thursday|| Transparent and opaque materials; |
Interaction of light and matter
|Definition of transparent and opaque, what makes an object transparent or opaque;|
Definition of wave-particle duality, examples, photo-electric effect;
Definition and major theories of quantum physics;
Binding energy, ground state, excited atom, examples of the four major types of interactions
|Friday||Blackbody radiation theory;|
Wien's law and the Stefan-Boltzmann law;
Calculations with Wien's law and the Stefan-Boltzmann law
|Definition of blackbody, how we can create a near-approximation on Earth;|
Explanation of these laws and how they relate to light, temperature and the colors of a glowing object, absolute zero, lambda max;
Working with Wien's law and the Stefan-Boltzmann law
1. Wave Parameters: Wavelength, Amplitude, Period, Frequency & Speed
How do we measure and describe waves? How do waves differ based upon their shapes? This lesson will guide you through the five wave parameters - period, frequency, amplitude, wavelength, and speed - that we use to characterize waves.
2. What is Light?
This lesson will define and describe what light is from both technical and more common-use perspectives, discuss what the different kinds of light are, and explain why it's called radiation.
3. The Speed of Light: Distance & Light-Years
This lesson will tell you what the speed of light is, what a light year is, what lookback time is, and why it is that we see many objects in space as they were a long time ago.
4. 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.
5. 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.
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. 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.
8. 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.
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. Resonance: Definition & Transmission of Waves
This lesson describes how sound and light waves are affected by the principle of resonance. Learn how resonance occurs through the vibrations and resonant frequencies of objects. You'll investigate everyday examples of resonance and learn how to break a wine glass with your voice!
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. How Light & Matter Interact
This lesson will go over the fundamental basic of how light and matter interact with one another. You'll learn about photons, excited atoms, binding energy, and energy levels.
15. Blackbody & Blackbody Radiation Theory
This lesson will go over the perfect absorber and emitter of radiation, something called a blackbody, as well as the concept of blackbody radiation and electromagnetic radiation.
16. What Are Wien's Law & the Stefan-Boltzmann Law?
This lesson will explain why an object glows and why it changes color with temperature as we take a look at blackbodies, electromagnetic radiation, Wien's Law, and the Stefan-Boltzmann Law.
17. Calculations with Wien's Law & the Stefan-Boltzmann Law
This lesson will go over the equations, as well as some calculations, for Wien's law and the Stefan-Boltzmann law. You will learn what factors these laws depend upon and what they reveal.
18. What is a Photon? - Definition, Energy & Wavelength
In this lesson, we will learn the definition of a photon. We will also explain Planck's constant and its relationship to the photon energy and wavelength. The calculation of photon energy is also demonstrated.
19. Quantum Physics: Definition, Theories & Topics
While exploring this lesson, you will learn what quantum physics, otherwise known as quantum mechanics, is, examine some of its theories and topics, and discover the weird consequences that go along with it. A short quiz will follow.
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Other chapters within the Astronomy 101 Syllabus Resource & Lesson Plans course
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