Chapter 1_Reflecting LightMain Ideas1.
Light and its properties2.
Plane mirror reflection3.
Regular and diffuse reflection4.
Forming images with a plane mirror5.
Using concave mirrors in the reflecting telescope8.
Problems with curved mirrorsTheory Various Background
Light is fascinating. It brings the energy from the Sun needed to power the living world and sustain our life. Our eyes useit to form images of the world around us. It always moves at the fastest speed possible in the universe, 300 million meters/sec.Furthermore, the speed of light doesn’t depend on the motion of the source which emitted it or the motion of the observer whichdetects it. No matter particles can move as fast as light irrespective of how much energy is used to accelerate them.And that is only part of the story. Light is neither a wave nor a stream of particles although it has particle-like propertiesand wave-like properties. (Light is not alone in this regard; all matter also exhibits both wave-like and particle-like properties).Our understanding of the nature of light has gone through several revolutions since the time of Newton. Although weunderstand much more about light than ever before, a deep understanding of its nature still eludes us. Einstein contributedgreatly to our understanding of light. Before he died he said,“And these fifty years of conscious brooding have brought me no nearer to the question of ‘What are lightquanta?’ Nowadays every clod thinks he knows it, but he is mistaken.”
BASIC LIGHT PROPERTIES
Light can be thought of as a form of energy which moves according to 3 basic properties:
It travels in straight lines
It requires no medium for transmission
It travels at a speed of 3
m/s in a vacuumThe sun is the source of most of the light we see. Without light we find it impossible to see anything.
LUMINOUS AND NON-LUMINOUS
Objects that emit their own light are called
Luminous objects include a candle flame, a star, a glowing electric light bulband burning magnesium.We see most other objects because they reflect light. These are called
. This page, your desk, the moon and you arenon-luminous.
RAYS AND BEAMS
Usually light travels in straight lines, whether it is emitted or reflected, until it meets something that changes its direction. The pathof light can be represented by light rays which we draw as straight lines. A set of light rays is called a
A set of rays canbe described as either
to each other,
As light travels in straight lines, a point source of light placed in front of an opaque body will produce on a screen a clean edgedshadow.