Ch 20: Light Waves & Properties

About This Chapter

Use this overview of light waves and properties to improve your understanding of white light, reflection, and light waves. The lessons and self-assessment quizzes can gauge your understanding of the concepts covered to ensure you're ready to pass a test or contribute to a class discussion.

Light Waves & Properties - Chapter Summary

In this chapter on light waves and properties, brief lessons cover topics such as how light is measured and Snell's Law. Additionally, you can improve your ability to explain the speed of light. Upon completion of the chapter, you should be able to do the following:

  • Provide a technical description of light
  • Discuss the division of visible light spectrum into six color ranges
  • Explain how light is transmitted
  • Define electromagnetic waves
  • Recall the reason we see objects in space as they were long ago
  • List properties of white light
  • Explain what a mirror is and why we see reflections
  • Define refraction and dispersion

A brief quiz is available for each lesson to test your understanding of light waves, and you can also contact our instructors with any questions. The quizzes link back to specific topics in the video, so if you get a question wrong, you can quickly review that topic. Our instructors provide helpful illustrations in each lesson to assist you with grasping the concepts presented.

10 Lessons in Chapter 20: Light Waves & Properties
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
What is Light?

1. 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.

The Nature of Light: Origin, Spectrum & Color Frequency

2. 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.

Transmission of Light: Definition & Overview

3. Transmission of Light: Definition & Overview

This lesson will explain what is meant by 'transmission of light,' discuss the ways that light can be transmitted through a medium, and also explore how light is measured.

Light Waves: Definition, Types & Uses

4. Light Waves: Definition, Types & Uses

This lesson will define electromagnetic waves, explaining the distinction between them and 'light waves.' We will also discuss the various kinds of waves in the electromagnetic spectrum and their uses. A short quiz will follow.

The Speed of Light: Distance & Light-Years

5. 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.

White Light: Definition, Source & Spectrum

6. White Light: Definition, Source & Spectrum

In this lesson, you will learn about what white light is made up of and how to extract the components of white light through the process of dispersion. You will look at some of the properties of white light, like the spectrum of wavelengths and frequencies that make it up.

Reflection: Angle of Incidence and Curved Surfaces

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.

Ray Tracing with Mirrors: Reflected Images

8. 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.

Refraction & Dispersion: Definition, Snell's Law & Index of Refraction

9. 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.

What is Scattering? - Definition & Examples

10. What is Scattering? - Definition & Examples

In physics, it's rare for wave energy to travel in a completely straight line. Several processes can occur that make the wave depart from its path. This lesson will cover one of those processes, scattering, and give a few examples of it in action.

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

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