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Nature Of Light & EM Spectrum

Prepared By :- Miskeen Muhammad Jam Khokhar
Theories About The Nature Of Light
Light has remained a mysterious thing from
But from time to time to resolve this problem
different views have been expressed in
shape of theories.
Following are the theories about the nature
of light.
Corpuscular Theory.
Wave Theory.
Electromagnetic Theory
Quantum Theory.
Dual Nature Theory.
Theories About The Nature Of Light
Corpuscular Theory :-
It was presented by sir Isaac Newton.It states that light
is made up of very small discrete particles called
Corpuscles( little particles) travel in straight line with
a finite velocity and possess kinetic energy.
This theory explains many properties of light, such as
Reflection,Refraction,Shadow formation etc. but it
fails to explain other properties of light
like,Interference,Diffraction& Polarization etc.
It remained in force for mare than 100 years
Theories About The Nature Of Light
Wave Theory.
Christiaan Huygen put this theory in 1678.He proposed
that light was emitted in all directions as series of
waves in a medium called luminifrrous ether( a
hypothetical Substance).
He showed by experiments that light behaved as
waves, its different colours are due to their different
wave lengths.According to this theory light was
entirely transverse not longitudinal.
The major weakness of this theory was that light waves
like sound need medium for transmission
Theories About The Nature Of Light
Electromagnetic theory.
It was suggested by Max Well. It was modified wave
theory in which Max Well concluded that light was a
form of electromagnetic radiation and did not need
any medium for its propagation. It received ample
support from the experiments performed by Hertz.
Quantum Theory.
In 1905 Max Planck developed this new theory.
According to which bodies emit light and other
electromagnetic radiations only as discrete bundles
( packets of energy )called quanta.
Einstein named these quanta ( Packets of energy)
photons. Photons of Einstein are not material
particles. Energy of photon depends upon its
frequency, so more frequency, more will be its
Theories About The Nature Of Light
Theories About The Nature Of Light
Dual Nature theory.
In modern period it is believed that light exists in tiny
packets of energy (Photons) shows properties of
both waves and particles/quanta.

Hence it is concluded that light shows wave- particle
duality in its nature. It is also revealed that light
never acts like both (wave & particle) at the same

Some times it behaves as a particle and some times
as a wave.
Electro Magnetic (EM ) Spectrum
Term Electromagnetic stands for possessing
Electric as well as Magnetic property.
Here term Spectrum means range of electromagnetic
energies( radiations) in order of increasing or
decreasing wave length or frequency.
Electromagnetic spectrum is composed of Visible
radiations and Invisible radiations.
Electromagnetic spectrum is continuous( without
Invisible Radiation Visible Radiation Invisible Radiation
Electromagnetic Spectrum
Invisible Radiation
Gamma Rays(10
- 10
m )
X Rays ( 10
- 10

Ultra violet light ( 10
- 10
m )
Short Wave length, High frequency, High energy
Electro Magnetic (EM ) Spectrum
Visible Radiation
(4 - 7 10
m )
Electro magnetic Spectrum
Invisible Radiation
Infra Red Light ( 10
- 10
m )
Micro Waves

Radio Waves ( 10
m )
Electro magnetic Spectrum
Long Wave Length, Low frequency, Low energy
Electro Magnetic (EM ) Spectrum
Though these radiations are produced in very
different ways and are also detected in different
ways but all are fundamentally the same thing.
They all are electromagnetic radiation travel with
same speed( 3 10
m/s ).
V = f ( V=Speed of green light, = Wave length of
green light & f=
Frequency of green
V = f
= 0.610
5 10
= 3 10
Dispersion Of Light
Visible light is also known as white light .White light
(Sun light ) consists of a collection of component
Splitting up of white light into its component colours
on passing through glass prism is called
Dispersion of light.
In the result of dispersion a band of colours(
Violet,Indigo,Blue,Green,Yellow,Orange & Red) is
called Spectrum.
As each colour has its own particular wave length,
Violet light has shorter wave length( but higher
frequency) bends more, while Red light has longer
wave length( but lower frequency) bends less.
Dispersion of light through triangular prism

Dispersion Of Light
Upon entry of white light at the first boundary of a
triangular prism, there will be a slight separation of
the white light into the component colours of the

Upon exiting the triangular prism at boundary, the
separation becomes even greater and VIBGOYR is
observed in its splendor.
Technical details of rainbow formation were first
analyzed by Newton in 1665.
In rain drop sun light is twice refracted, dispersed
and reflected.
Rain drops acts like prism. Each colour comes from
drops in different positions in the sky. Each drop
continues only one colour to the rainbow, that we
see. In looking at rainbow we are seeing the
collection of picture of millions of rain drops
The bow shape of rainbow is actually part of a cone
of light that is cut off by horizon.
Rainbow with brightest colours is seen when sun is
quite low on clear sky just behind us and rain just in
front of us
Emission Of Light By Atoms
Atoms consist of a positively charged core (
Nucleus) which is surrounded by negatively
charged electrons.
When an electron jumps from lower energy
level to upper energy level, energy in form of
photon is absorbed in result exited state
occurs for a period of less than
second, then this electron returns back
to lower state with the emission of a photon
of light.
The photon emitted has energy equal to
the difference in energy b/w the two energy
Green Houses & Green House Effect
Green houses are used to help
certain plants grow better by
providing a warmer air temperature
specially in winter.
These are made up of glass or
polyethene,which do not allow
infra red radiation of longer wave
length to pass through these
Green Houses & Green House Effect
Normal green house effect is the
phenomenon in which earths average
temperature is about 60
F .
As sun shine ( Solar radiation ) contains
radiations of different kinds, some of that
radiation is the light, which can see ,but
much of it is invisible infra- red radiation or
radiant heat energy.
This short wave length infra-red radiation
easily pas through the atmosphere and is
absorbed by plants and soil, making them
Green Houses & Green House Effect
But warmer soil and plants now emit
infra-red radiation of long wave length,
which can not pass through the
atmosphere containing water
vapours,carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide(
Green house gases) in this energy of
sun escaping back into space is
trapped, which causes earth warmer
than usual( Global warming).
So stronger GHE makes Earth warmer
& warmer day by day.