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Ch 4: Waves and Optics: Help and Review

About This Chapter

The Waves and Optics chapter of this College-Level Physical Science Help and Review course is the simplest way to master waves and optics. This chapter uses simple and fun videos that are about five minutes long plus lesson quizzes and a chapter exam to ensure students learn the essentials of waves and optics.

Who's it for?

Anyone who needs help learning or mastering college physical science material will benefit from taking this course. There is no faster or easier way to learn the topic. Among those who would be helped are:

  • Students who have fallen behind in understanding color or working with resonance
  • Students who struggle with learning disabilities or learning differences, including autism and ADHD
  • Students who prefer multiple ways of learning science (visual or auditory)
  • Students who have missed class time and need to catch up
  • Students who need an efficient way to learn about waves and optics
  • Students who struggle to understand their teachers
  • Students who attend schools without extra science learning resources

How it works:

  • Find videos in our course that cover what you need to learn or review.
  • Press play and watch the video lesson.
  • Refer to the video transcripts to reinforce your learning.
  • Test your understanding of each lesson with short quizzes.
  • Verify you're ready by completing the Waves and Optics chapter exam.

Why it works:

  • Study Efficiently: Skip what you know, review what you don't.
  • Retain What You Learn: Engaging animations and real-life examples make topics easy to grasp.
  • Be Ready on Test Day: Use the Waves and Optics chapter exam to be prepared.
  • Get Extra Support: Ask our subject-matter experts any waves and optics question. They're here to help!
  • Study With Flexibility: Watch videos on any Web-ready device.

Students will review:

This chapter helps students review the concepts in a Waves and Optics unit of a standard college physical science course. Topics covered include:

  • Refraction and dispersion
  • The nature of light
  • Diffuse reflection
  • The seven major regions of the electromagnetic spectrum
  • Pitch and volume in sound waves
  • Constructive and destructive interference
  • Ray tracing with mirrors
  • Using equations to answer images questions

23 Lessons in Chapter 4: Waves and Optics: Help and Review
Refraction & Dispersion: Definition, Snell's Law & Index of Refraction

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.

Transparent and Opaque Materials in Electromagnetic Waves

2. 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

3. 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.

Resonance: Definition & Transmission of Waves

4. 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!

The Nature of Light: Origin, Spectrum & Color Frequency

5. 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.

Diffuse Reflection: Definition, Examples & Surfaces

6. 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.

The 7 Major Regions of the Electromagnetic Spectrum

7. 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.

Reflection: Angle of Incidence and Curved Surfaces

8. 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.

Electromagnetic Waves: Definition, Sources & Properties

9. 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.

The Doppler Effect: Definition, Examples & Applications

10. 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.

Pitch and Volume in Sound Waves

11. Pitch and Volume in Sound Waves

What do pitch and volume mean when talking about sound waves? Further your understanding of sound waves in this lesson as we explore the more familiar aspects of sound. We'll learn about pitch and volume and how they relate to sound wave parameters.

What is Sound? - Definition and Factors Affecting the Speed of Sound

12. What is Sound? - Definition and Factors Affecting the Speed of Sound

Explore the minute workings of sound waves and how they travel. We'll discuss the main factors that affect the speed of sound waves, and we'll try some mathematical problems involving the wave equation.

Wave Parameters: Wavelength, Amplitude, Period, Frequency & Speed

13. 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.

Transverse & Longitudinal Waves: Definition & Examples

14. Transverse & Longitudinal Waves: Definition & Examples

What comes to mind when you think of a wave? Chances are your mental image takes the form of a transverse wave. But, longitudinal waves are just as important, and understanding the difference is vital to learning about waves. In this lesson, explore both types of waves and the unique characteristics of each.

Vibrations and Waves: Energy and Motion

15. Vibrations and Waves: Energy and Motion

What is a wave? What causes waves, and how do they travel from one place to another? This lesson will guide you through the basics of waves. We'll discuss their origins from vibrations and investigate how they carry energy through a medium.

Diffraction: Relation to Sound & Light and Effects of Wavelength

16. 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

17. 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.

Mirrors: Difference Between Plane & Spherical

18. 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.

Ray Tracing with Mirrors: Reflected Images

19. 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.

Using Equations to Answer Mirror Questions

20. 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.

Thin Lens Equation: Examples & Questions

21. Thin Lens Equation: Examples & Questions

After watching this lesson, you will be able to explain what a lens is (both concave and convex), list uses of lenses in everyday life, and use the thin lens equation to solve problems. A short quiz will follow.

Using Equations to Answer Lens Questions

22. Using Equations to Answer Lens Questions

After watching this video, you should be able to use equations to answer lens questions, including figuring out whether the image produced by a lens is real or virtual, bigger or smaller, and upright or inverted. A short quiz will follow.

Concave Lens: Definition & Uses

23. Concave Lens: Definition & Uses

Convex lenses get all the glory. They are used for magnification, in cameras, and in countless other devices. Concave lenses, on the other hand, are often underappreciated. In this lesson, discover what concave lenses are and what they are used for.

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