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Chapter%201 reflecting%20light

Chapter%201 reflecting%20light

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Published by: luxvis on May 16, 2008
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05/09/2014

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 1
 
Chapter 1_Reflecting LightMain Ideas1.
 
Light and its properties2.
 
Plane mirror reflection3.
 
Regular and diffuse reflection4.
 
Forming images with a plane mirror5.
 
Concave mirrors6.
 
Convex mirrors7.
 
Using concave mirrors in the reflecting telescope8.
 
Problems with curved mirrorsTheory Various Background
INTRODUCTION
 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
×
10
8
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.
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
non-luminous
. 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
light beam.
A set of rays canbe described as either
parallel
to each other,
divergent
or
convergent.SHADOWS
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.
 
 2
When a source of some magnitude is placed in front of an opaque object its total shadow can be seen as two parts, an area of complete shadow (Umbra), surrounded by an area of partial shadow (Penumbra).This can readily be seen using an ordinary light bulb. A total eclipse (umbra) and a partial eclipse (penumbra) occur on Earth whenthe moon passes in front of the sun (a source of some magnitude).
SPEED OF LIGHT
Light travels extremely fast. The current estimate for the speed of light in vacuo is 299 793 km/s. Approximated at 3
×
10
8
m/s. Atthis speed, light travels around the earth 7 times each second.
REFLECTION
We see most objects around us because they reflect light. A plane sheet of paper does not reflect light the same way as a planemirror. Light reflecting from this page is scattered and the reflection is called
diffuse
. The light is scattered on reflection becausethis page is not smooth. We can see this page but we cannot see other things reflected in the page. Mirrors are smooth reflectors, solight is reflected in an ordered manner, so we see images. This type of reflection is called
specular.
 
Light Rays
Because rays of light travel in straight lines, we can draw them as lines in diagrams
Reflection of Light
Light hitting the mirror is called the
incident ray
. Light leaving the mirror is called the
 reflected ray
.
i
r
incident ray
reflected ray
normal 
 
 
Most objects we see reflect light rather than emit their own light.
Law of Reflection
 
 
“The angle of incidence equals the angle of reflection.”
 
This is true for both flat mirrors and curved mirrors.
Types of Reflection
 
 
Specular Reflection - images seen on smooth surfaces (e.g. plane mirrors)
 
Diffuse Reflection - diffuse light coming from a rough surface (cannot see a reflection of yourself)
 
 3
 
 
How do we
make
light?
 
Heat and Light
: Incandescent Lighting (3-5% efficient)
 
Atoms and Light:
Fluorescent Lighting (20-40% efficient)
Heat and Light
 
 
The way we see most things is by shining light on them, and then looking at the light reflected from the object.
 
The way we see stars is not this way. We see the light that comes solely
from the object itself 
rather than light reflectedfrom some other source. This type of radiation is called “
blackbody radiation
” since there is no reflected light involved,and things that don’t reflect light normally look black.
Atoms and Light
 When we excite atoms with energy, we find that the atoms emit light. However, they do not emit light in a continuous spectrum (allcolors) like hot objects do. Rather, they emit only certain colors of light, which we call a discrete spectrum, or an
emissionspectrum
. Each element emits its own individual spectrum. Several examples will be demonstrated in class.Hydrogen’s spectrum (in the visible) consists of just three lines: purple, blue-green, and red.Helium has quite a bit different set of lines in its spectrum.
Electromagnetic Wave Velocity
 
 
The speed of light is the same for all seven forms of light.
 
It is 300,000 kilometers per second or 186,000 miles per second.

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