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Intro to Light

Intro to Light

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Published by linzel

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Published by: linzel on Oct 15, 2008
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06/16/2009

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October 15, 2008
Almost everything we know about space we learnedfrom studying light. We gather light from space usingtelescopes. We are most familiar with visible light [lightwe can see]
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gamma rays - we cannot see. Usually released duringnuclear reactions.
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x-rays - cannot see. Used to take medical images
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ultraviolet - cannot see. Cause of suntans/sunburns[some species of birds can see ultraviolet light]
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visible light - WE CAN SEE IT! [violet, blue, green,yellow, orange, red]
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infrared - we cannot see. Emitted from objects warmer than their surroundings. Some insects can see infraredlight.
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microwaves - cannot see them. Used to bombard foodto increase the molecular motion of the particles infood. [will heat anything not just food]
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radio - we cannot see them. Used to send informationthrought the air for radio, TV, GPS, wireless internet,cell phones, etc.. DO NOT confuse radio waves withsound.
 
October 15, 2008
So what is light?Light is a type of energy that comes in small packets, calledphotons. But simply think of light as small envelopes ofenergy. The larger the envelop, the greater the amount ofenergy.frequency - how often something happens per second [Hertz]wavelength - is the length of the wave [meters]energy - the amount of energy [Joules]
How do we describe light?
Because light acts alot like a wave [as in oceans] we canuse wave adjectives to describe light behaviour.-frequency: refers to how often light moves up and downper second [unit = Hertz]-wavelength: refers to the distance between two parts of the wave that are doing the same thing-energy: refers to the, well, energy of the light.-photons: energy comes in packets of energy calledphotons.see next slides for application of these terms....
 
October 15, 2008

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