Copyright

Ch 13: Light in Physical Science

About This Chapter

The lessons in this chapter go over key information about light in physical science. You can use these lessons to learn about these topics for fun or apply them to an academic purpose, whichever your goals may be.

Light in Physical Science - Chapter Summary

Use the lessons included here to reinforce your understanding of wave properties and behaviors or take a closer look at this range of the electromagnetic spectrum. Instructors shed some light on factors determining the color of an object as well as its transparency or opacity. You can also take a look at the peculiar behavior of light as demonstrated by the photoelectric effect. You have the flexibility to study at home or you can study on the go on your mobile device, such as a tablet and a smartphone, as long as you have internet connectivity. Lessons are designed to help you:

  • Recall characteristics about light
  • Review what reflection is
  • Identify the relationship between resonance and waves
  • Distinguish the difference between transparent and opaque materials
  • Summarize factors about color
  • Contrast refraction to dispersion
  • Define diffraction
  • Distinguish the difference between constructive and destructive interference
  • Discover the Doppler effect
  • Examine wave-particle duality
  • Interpret how to investigate light properties
  • Demonstrate how to test reflection and refraction of light
  • Show the relationship between ray diagrams and lenses
  • Evaluate diffraction and interference in a lab
  • Demonstrate light color in a lab

15 Lessons in Chapter 13: Light in Physical Science
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
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.

Resonance: Definition & Transmission of Waves

3. 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!

Transparent and Opaque Materials in Electromagnetic Waves

4. 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.

Color: White Light, Reflection & Absorption

5. 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

6. 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

7. 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

8. 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

9. 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

10. 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.

Investigating Light Properties: Physics Lab

11. Investigating Light Properties: Physics Lab

After completing this lab, you will be able to list the properties of light and complete investigations that show some of these properties. A short quiz will follow.

Reflection & Refraction of Light: Physics Lab

12. Reflection & Refraction of Light: Physics Lab

This lesson examines what reflection and refraction are and demonstrates how they work using experimentation. You'll be provided with step-by-step instructions on how to complete the experiments, as well as have the ability to complete a short quiz.

Ray Diagrams & Lenses: Physics Lab

13. Ray Diagrams & Lenses: Physics Lab

After completing this lab, you will be able to explain how lenses work, explain the difference between convex and concave lenses, draw ray diagrams to analyze the image produced by a lens, and apply that understanding to eyeglasses.

Diffraction & Interference: Physics Lab

14. Diffraction & Interference: Physics Lab

After completing this lab, you will be able to explain what diffraction and interference are, and use everyday objects to demonstrate the effect for light. A short quiz will follow.

Light Color: Physics Lab

15. Light Color: Physics Lab

After completing this lab, you will be able to explain what gives light its color and demonstrate that white light contains a variety of colors using filters. A short quiz will follow.

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