The Study of Light - What is Light?

Can you see the rainbow?

The Study of Light - What is Light?

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Light is a form of energy. It is made up of electromagnetic waves. Some of the waves can be seen with the naked eye such as with a rainbow while others cannot be seen. The entire range of light is known as the electromagnetic spectrum.

The study of light is known as optics. Optics involves studying the behavior and properties of light along with its interaction with matter. Optics describes the behavior of visible, ultraviolet and infrared light. The first optic lens was developed by ancient Egyptians and Mesopotamians.

When you can see light, it is referred to as being “visible light.”

The properties of light are: (1) it travels in a straight line; (2) it can be reflected; (3) it can be absorbed; (4) it can be refracted; (5) it is a form of energy; and (6) it travels at a speed of 186,000 miles per second. That is faster than anything else man knows of.

The visible light spectrum is the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that is visible to the human eye. These include the colors red, orange, yellow, green, cyan, blue and violet.

All objects are capable of reflecting light. If they didn’t reflect at least some light, we would not be able to see them.

Laws of Light: Light behaves or reacts according to specific rules. For example, light always travels in a straight line.

Transparent objects, such as glass, allow nearly all of the light to pass through it.

Translucent objects will only allow some light to pass through it. An example of a translucent object would be tissue paper.

Reflection of light is when light hits a smooth surface. The surface does not absorb the light but bounces it off of its surface such as with a mirror. The angle of the bounced light will be equal to the angle in which the light first touched the surface. This is also known as the Law of Reflection which is defined as, the angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection.

Refraction of light is the process of light that bends as it passes from one object of a certain density or mass to another object with a different density or mass. The denser the material in which light travels through will slow the speed of the light. As an example, the density of water will slow down the speed of light.

1.
The study of light is called _____.
prism
optics
spectrum
reflection
The study of light is called optics. Answer (b) is correct
2.
The angle of bounced light will be equal to the angle in which the light first touched the surface. This is known as ____________.
Laws of Light
Law of Reflection
Law of Refraction
Newton's Law
The Law of Reflection states that the angle of bounced light will be equal to the angle in which the light first touched the surface. Answer (b) is correct
3.
When you can see light it is referred to as being ______.
reflective light
visible light
a prism
translucent
When you can actually see light, it is referred to a being “visible light.” Answer (b) is correct
4.
The first optic lens was developed by_______.
ancient Egyptians and Mesopotamians
Sir Isaac Newton
Aristotle
ancient Assyrians and Romans
The first optic lens was developed by ancient Egyptians and Mesopotamians. Answer (a) is correct
5.
This is known as the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that is visible to the human eye.
Visible light spectrum
Laws of Light
Law of Reflection
Optical illusion
The Visible light spectrum is known as the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that is visible to the human eye. Answer (a) is correct
6.
All objects are capable of _______.
absorbing light
refracting light
reflecting light
blocking light
All objects are capable of reflecting light. Answer (c) is correct
7.
Light travels at the speed of ___________.
186,000 miles per second
106,000 miles per second
196,000 miles per second
108,000 miles per second
Light travels at the speed of 186,000 miles per second. Answer (a) is correct
8.
Which of the following colors is NOT a part of the visible light spectrum?
Red
Yellow
Orange
Brown
Red, yellow and orange are all part of the visible light spectrum. That leaves the color brown which is NOT part of the spectrum. Answer (d) is correct
9.
A rainbow is an example of a light’s ___________.
refraction
reflection
electromagnetic wave
law
A rainbow is an example of a light’s electromagnetic wave. Answer (c) is correct
10.
Dense mass will do this to light.
Block its ability to be absorbed
Angle the light away from the mass
Slow the speed down
Allow the light to be reflected
Dense matter will slow down the speed of light. Answer (c) is correct
Author:  Christine G. Broome

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