About This Chapter
Light Waves - Chapter Summary
From diffraction to refraction, this chapter covers all of the concepts you would need to know about light waves when preparing for any type of exam in this area. Simple explanations and detailed examples help you to develop a full understanding of such topics as the power of telescopes or how wave interference works.
Some lessons focus on specific laws and principles and describe how to solve light wave problems using relevant equations. After completing your review of this chapter, you should be able to do the following:
- Define Snell's Law
- List the powers and limitations of telescopes
- Explain Huygen's Principle in relation to diffraction
- Detail behaviors of light waves as they relate to sound and light
- Present facts about constructive and destructive interference
- Answer questions about mirrors
- Demonstrate diffraction and interference
- Understand patterns of and equations for single-slit and double-slit diffraction
- State Malus's Law and determine how it solves polarization of light problems
- Use the equation relevant to Brewster's Law to solve polarization-by-reflection problems
Lessons are presented in either video or text format which can be accessed by any device at all times. Print text lessons or video lesson transcripts for handy reference purposes. Track your progress through the chapter on your Dashboard and take self-assessment quizzes to ensure that you have obtained a full understanding of all material addressed in the lessons.
1. 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.
2. Telescopes: Powers & Limitations
This lesson will discuss some limitations and three important powers of the telescope: the light gathering power, resolving power, and magnifying power.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. Using Equations to Answer Mirror Questions
After watching this lesson, you will be able to answer questions on mirrors, stating whether an image is real or virtual, upright or inverted, and larger or smaller. A short quiz will follow.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
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. 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.
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