Light from a candle flame travels in straight lines.


As a part of their study of Science, children in KS2 will look at light. This quiz is about various aspects of light such as sources of light, how light travels and how reflection and refraction occur.

Light, or illumination, is a form of energy that travels in waves, like sound. Light is a fascinating topic to investigate in science lessons. You can find different sources of light, such as a candle or the Sun. You can also study reflection by looking how mirrors affect light. Refraction is something else you can look at. Refraction is when light 'bends' as it passes through different materials like water or glass. The light we can see, which is called visible light, is part of the electromagnetic spectrum. The electromagnetic spectrum includes radio waves, microwaves and x-rays.

Can you name some sources of light? Do you know which materials are good for reflection? See how much you've learned about light by trying this quiz.

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  1. There are forms of light which are invisible to the human eye. Which of these is an example?
    Ultraviolet (UV) light is visible to some insects and animals. Bumblebees can see UV light, for example
  2. Why does a green apple look green?
    The colour we see when we look at objects is the colour that is reflected by that object - all other colours are absorbed
  3. Imagine a candle flame. Light from the candle flame travels in which direction?
    Light always travels in straight lines - we know this because a beam of light cannot curve around an object. If you hold a book between your eyes and the candle flame, you will not be able to see the flame - its light cannot travel through or around the book
  4. How will a beam of light shining on a glass prism behave?
    When a beam of light shines on a glass prism, the light is refracted into its different colours, showing a 'rainbow' band of colours on the nearest white surfaces
  5. Light travels slightly more slowly through air than through space. It is slowed down a little bit more by glass and which of the following?
    Metal, concrete and wood are opaque materials that do not transmit light (let light pass through them)
  6. If you half fill a clear glass with water and place a straw in the glass, how does the straw appear when you look at it carefully?
    This interesting effect is caused by the refraction of light in the water
  7. How fast does light travel?
    Light travels faster than anything else - huge distances in space are described as 'light years'. Light travels the 150,000,000 kilometres from the Sun to the Earth in about eight minutes - can you imagine how far it could travel in a year?
  8. A submarine's periscope allows someone on the boat to see objects that are above the water. How is this possible?
    Modern submarines have replaced mirrors with prisms which can also magnify the reflections
  9. Visible light contains many colours. Which of the following is not one of these colours?
    Visible, or 'white' light does not include the colour black. The colours of visible light are those of the rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet). Objects look black when they absorb all of the light shining on them
  10. Which of these is not a source of light?
    The Moon does not produce any light - it only reflects the light of the Sun

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