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i) Light is a form of energy which helps us to see
ii) When light falls on objects, it reflects the light
and when the reflected light reaches our eyes
then we see the objects.
iii) Light travels in straight line.
iv) The common phenomena of light are
formation of shadows, formation of images by
mirrors and lenses, bending of light by a
medium, twinkling of stars, formation of
rainbow etc.

Most things we see are thanks to reflections,

since most objects don’t produce their own
visible light. Much of the light incident on
an object is absorbed but some is reflected.
the wavelengths of the reflected light
determine the colors we see. When white
light hits an apple, for instance, primarily red
wavelengths are reflected, while much of the
others are absorbed.
A ray of light heading towards an object is called
an incident ray. If it reflects off the object, it is
called a reflected ray. A perpendicular line drawn
at any point on a surface is called a normal (just
like with normal force). The angle between the
incident ray and normal is called the angle of
incidence, i, and the angle between the reflected
ray and the normal ray is called the angle of
reflection, r. The law of reflection states that the
angle of incidence is always equal to the angle of
Law of Reflection

Normal line (perpendicular to


i r

Diffuse Reflection
Diffuse reflection is when light bounces off a non-smooth surface.
Each ray of light still obeys the law of reflection, but because the
surface is not smooth, the normal can point in a different for
every ray. If many light rays strike a non-smooth surface, they
could be reflected in many different directions. This explains how
we can see objects even when it seems the light shining upon it
should not reflect in the direction of our eyes. It also helps to
explain glare on wet roads: Water fills in and smoothes out the
rough road surface so that the road becomes more like a mirror.
Applications of Specular and Diffuse Reflection
• The relative difficulty of night driving on a wet asphalt
roadway compared to a dry asphalt roadway?
• Most drivers are aware of the fact that driving at night on
a wet roadway results in an annoying glare from
oncoming headlights. The glare is the result of the
Specular reflection of the beam of light from an
oncoming car. Normally a roadway would cause diffuse
reflection due to its rough surface. But if the surface is
wet, water can fill in the crevices and smooth out the
surface. Rays of light from the beam of an oncoming car
hit this smooth surface, undergo specular reflection and
remain concentrated in a beam. The driver perceives an
annoying glare caused by this concentrated beam of
reflected light.
• Many people have witnessed in person or have seen a photograph
of a beautiful nature scene captured by a photographer who set
up the shot with a calm body of water in the foreground?
• The water (if calm) provides for the specular reflection of
light from the subject of the photograph. Light from the
subject can reach the camera lens directly or it can take a
longer path in which it reflects off the water before
travelling to the lens. Since the light reflecting off the water
undergoes specular reflection, the incident rays remain
concentrated (instead of diffusing). The light is thus able to
travel together to the lens of the camera and produce an
image (an exact replica) of the subject which is strong
enough to perceive in the photograph.
Speed of Light & Refraction

As you have already learned, light is extremely fast, about

3  108 m/s in a vacuum. Light, however, is slowed down by the
presence of matter. The extent to which this occurs depends on
what the light is traveling through. Light travels at about 3/4 of its
vacuum speed (0.75 c ) in water and about 2/3 its vacuum speed
(0.67 c ) in glass. The reason for this slowing is because when
light strikes an atom it must interact with its electron cloud. If
light travels from one medium to another, and if the speeds in
these media differ, then light is subject to refraction (a changing
of direction at the interface).

Refraction of Refraction of
light waves light rays
Reflection & Refraction
At an interface between two media, both reflection and refraction can
occur. The angles of incidence, reflection, and refraction are all measured
with respect to the normal. The angles of incidence and reflection are
always the same. If light speeds up upon entering a new medium, the angle
of refraction, r , will be greater than the angle of incidence, as depicted on
the left. If the light slows down in the new medium, r will be less than
the angle of incidence, as shown on the right.


Index of Refraction, n
The index of refraction of a substance is the ratio of the speed in light
in a vacuum to the speed of light in that substance:
Medium n
n = Index of Refraction
Vacuum 1
c = Speed of light in vacuum
Air (STP) 1.00029
v = Speed of light in medium
Water (20º C) 1.33
Note that a large index of refraction
Ethanol 1.36
corresponds to a relatively slow
light speed in that medium. Glass ~1.5
Diamond 2.42
Refractive index
• The greater the refractive index
n, the slower is the speed of light
in that medium and the light
bends more in that medium
• The refractive index cannot be
less than 1.
17.1 Snell's law of refraction
• Snell’s law is the relationship between the angles of
incidence and refraction and the index of refraction of both
Angle of refraction
Angle of incidence

ni sin Qi = nr sin Qr
Index of
refraction of Index of
incident refraction of
material refractive
Refraction of Light
Snell’s Law of Refraction
When light goes from air to glass, it moves
from material with a lower index of refraction
to one with higher index of refraction. That is,
n1 < n2.

To keep the two sides of the equation equal,

one must have
sin θ'1 > sin θ'2.

The light beam is bent toward the normal to

the surface.
Refractive index of water
= (Real depth / Apparent depth)


image of fish
Critical Angle
The incident angle that causes nr
the refracted ray to skim right
along the boundary of a c
substance is known as the critical
angle, c. The critical angle is the
angle of incidence that produces From Snell,
an angle of refraction of 90º. If n1 sinc = n2 sin 90
the angle of incidence exceeds
the critical angle, the ray is Since sin 90 = 1, we
completely reflected and does have n1 sinc = n2 and
not enter the new medium. A the critical angle is
critical angle only exists when
light is attempting to penetrate a n
c = sin -1 r
medium of higher optical density
than it is currently traveling in. ni
Critical Angle Sample Problem
Calculate the critical angle for the diamond-air boundary.
Refer to the Index of Refraction chart for the information.

air c = sin-1 (nr / ni)

diamond = sin-1 (1 / 2.42)
= 24.4
Any light shone on this
boundary beyond this angle
will be reflected back into the
Total Internal Reflection
Total internal reflection occurs when light attempts to pass
from a more optically dense medium to a less optically dense
medium at an angle greater than the critical angle. When this
occurs there is no refraction, only reflection.

n1 n2 > n1
n2   > c

Total internal reflection can be used for practical applications

like fiber optics.
Total Internal Reflection
The critical angle for glass is about 43°, depending
on the type of glass.
This means that within the glass, rays of light that
are more than 43° from the normal to a surface will
be totally internally reflected.
Total internal reflection is as the name implies:
Mirrors reflect only 90 to 95% of incident light, so
prisms are used instead of mirrors in many optical
Total Internal Reflection
Prisms are more efficient at reflecting light than
mirrors because of total internal reflection.
Total Internal Reflection
Total Internal Reflection in Diamonds
The critical angle for a diamond is 24.6°, smaller
than in other common substances.
This small critical angle means that light inside a
diamond is more likely to be totally internally
reflected than to escape.
All light rays more than 24.6° from the normal to a
surface in a diamond are kept inside by total
internal reflection.
29.12 Total Internal Reflection
In a cut diamond, light that enters at one facet is
usually totally internally reflected several times,
without any loss in intensity.
It then exits from another facet in another direction.
A small critical angle, plus high refraction,
produces wide dispersion and a wide array of
brilliant colors.
29.12 Total Internal Reflection
The brilliance of diamonds is a result of total
internal reflection.
Fiber Optics
Fiber optic lines are strands of glass or
transparent fibers that allows the transmission
of light and digital information over long
distances. They are used for the telephone
system, the cable TV system, the internet,
medical imaging, and mechanical engineering
spool of optical fiber inspection.

Optical fibers have many advantages over

copper wires. They are less expensive,
thinner, lightweight, and more flexible. They
aren’t flammable since they use light signals
instead of electric signals. Light signals from
one fiber do not interfere with signals in
nearby fibers, which means clearer TV A fiber optic wire
reception or phone conversations.
Fiber Optics Cont.
Fiber optics are often long strands
of very pure glass. They are very
thin, about the size of a human
hair. Hundreds to thousands of
them are arranged in bundles
(optical cables) that can transmit
light great distances. There are
three main parts to an optical
• Core- the thin glass center where light travels.
• Cladding- optical material (with a lower index of refraction
than the core) that surrounds the core that reflects light back into
the core.
• Buffer Coating- plastic coating on the outside of an optical
fiber to protect it from damage. Continued…
Light travels through the core of a
fiber optic by continually Fiber Optics (cont.)
reflecting off of the cladding. Due
to total internal reflection, the
cladding does not absorb any of
the light, allowing the light to There are two types of optical
travel over great distances. Some fibers:
of the light signal will degrade • Single-mode fibers- transmit
over time due to impurities in the one signal per fiber (used in
glass. cable TV and telephones).
• Multi-mode fibers- transmit
multiple signals per fiber (used
in computer networks).
Mirage Pictures
Refraction of Light

On a hot summer day, as you drive down a road, you see what appears
to be the reflection of an oncoming car in a pool of water.

The pool, however, disappears as you approach it.

Refraction of Light

The mirage is the result of the Sun heating the road.

The hot road heats the air above it and produces a thermal layering of
air that causes light traveling toward the road to gradually bend

This makes the light appear to be coming from a reflection in a pool.

Mirages are caused by the refracting properties of a
non-uniform atmosphere.
Several examples of mirages include seeing “puddles”
ahead on a hot highway or in a desert and the lingering
daylight after the sun is below the horizon.

More Mirages
Inferior Mirages
A person sees a puddle ahead on
the hot highway because the road
heats the air above it, while the
air farther above the road stays
cool. Instead of just two layers,
hot and cool, there are really
many layers, each slightly hotter than the layer above it. The cooler air has a
slightly higher index of refraction than the warm air beneath it. Rays of
light coming toward the road gradually refract further from the normal,
more parallel to the road. (Imagine the wheels and axle: on a light ray
coming from the sky, the left wheel is always in slightly warmer air than the
right wheel, so the left wheel continually moves faster, bending the axle
more and more toward the observer.) When a ray is bent enough, it
surpasses the critical angle and reflects. The ray continues to refract as it
heads toward the observer. The “puddle” is really just an inverted image of
the sky above. This is an example of an inferior mirage, since the cool are is
above the hot air.
Superior Mirages
Superior mirages occur when a
layer of cool air is beneath a layer
of warm air. Light rays are bent
downward, which can make an
object seem to be higher in the air
and inverted. (Imagine the
wheels and axle on a ray coming
from the boat: the right wheel is
continually in slightly warmer air
than the left wheel. Thus, the right
wheel moves slightly faster and
bends the axle toward the
observer.) When the critical angle
is exceeded the ray reflects. These
mirages usually occur over ice, snow, or cold water. Sometimes superior images
are produced without reflection. Eric the Red, for example, was able to see
Greenland while it was below the horizon due to the light gradually refracting
and following the curvature of the Earth.
• Atmospheric refraction is due
to the gradual change in the
refractive index of the
atmosphere. The refractive
index of the atmosphere
gradually increases towards
the surface of the earth
because the hot air above is
less dense than the cool air
below. So light gradually
bends towards the normal. So
the real position of a star is
different from its apparent
The Twinkling of Stars
• The twinkling of stars is due to the
atmospheric refraction of star light and
due to the changing in the position of the
stars and the movement of the layers of
the atmosphere. So the light from the
stars is sometimes brighter and
sometimes fainter and it appears to
• Planets are closer to the earth than
stars. The light from stars are considered
as point source of light and the light
from planets are considered as extended
source of light. So the light from the
planets nullify the twinkling effect.
Sunlight after Sunset
Lingering daylight after the sun
is below the horizon is another Apparent
effect of refraction. Light travels position Observer
at a slightly slower speed in of sun
Earth’s atmosphere than in
space. As a result, sunlight is
refracted by the atmosphere. In
position Earth
the morning, this refraction
of sun
causes sunlight to reach us
before the sun is actually above Atmosphere
the horizon. In the evening, the
sunlight is bent above the horizon after the sun has actually set. So
daylight is extended in the morning and evening because of the
refraction of light. Note: the picture greatly exaggerates this effect as
well as the thickness of the atmosphere.

Different “shapes” of Sun

• i) Tyndall effect :-
• When a beam of light passes through a colloidal
solution, the path of light becomes visible due to the
scattering of light by the colloid particles. This is
known as Tyndall effect.
• The earth’s atmosphere contains air molecules, water
droplets, dust, smoke etc. When sunlight passes
through the atmosphere the path of the light becomes
visible due to the scattering of light by these particles.
• The colour of the scattered light depends upon the
size of the scattering particles. Very fine particles
scatter blue light. Larger particles scatter different
colours of light.
• The fine particles in the atmosphere have size
smaller than the wave length of visible light. They
can scatter blue light which has a shorter wave
length than red light which has a longer wave
length. When sunlight passes through the
atmosphere, the fine particles in the atmosphere
scatter the blue colour more strongly than the
red and so the sky appears blue.
• If the earth had no atmosphere there would not
be any scattering of light and the sky would
appear dark. The sky appears dark at very high
Real vs. Virtual Images
• Real Image –
– Image is made from “real” light rays
that converge at a real focal point so the
image is REAL
– Can be projected onto a screen because
light actually passes through the point
where the image appears
– Always inverted
Real vs. Virtual Images

• Virtual Image–
–“Not Real” because it cannot be
–Image only seems to be there!
Virtual Images in Plane Mirrors
Rays seem to come from behind
the mirror, but, of course, they
don't. It is virtually as if the rays
were coming from behind the

"Virtually": the same as if

As far as the eye-brain system is

concerned, the effect is the same
If light energy doesn't flow from the
as would occur if the mirror were
image, the image is "virtual".
absent and the chess piece were
actually located at the spot labeled
"virtual image".
Hall Mirror
• Useful to think in terms of images

“real” you

mirror only “image” you

needs to be half as
high as you are tall. Your
image will be twice as far from you
29.3 Mirrors

Mirrors produce only virtual images.

29.3 Mirrors
If a candle flame is placed in front of a plane
(flat) mirror, rays of light from the candle are
reflected from the mirror in all directions.
• Each of the infinite number of rays obeys
the law of reflection.
• The rays diverge (spread apart) from the
tip of the flame, and continue diverging
from the mirror upon reflection.
• These divergent rays appear to originate
from a point located behind the mirror.
29.3 Mirrors
You perceive the
candle flame to be
located behind the
A virtual image
appears to be in a
location where light
does not really
Mirrors produce
29.3 Mirrors
Your eye cannot ordinarily tell
the difference between an object
and its virtual image.
• The light enters your eye in
exactly the same manner as
it would if there really were
an object where you see the
• The image is the same
distance behind the mirror
Spherical Mirrors
Curved mirrors
• What if the mirror isn’t flat?
– light still follows the same rules, with local
surface normal
• Parabolic mirrors have exact focus
– used in telescopes, backyard satellite dishes,
– also forms virtual image

Concave Mirrors
• Curves inward
• May be real or virtual image
For a real object between f and the mirror, a virtual
image is formed behind the mirror. The image is
upright and larger than the object.
For a real object between C and f, a real image is
formed outside of C. The image is inverted and larger
than the object.
For a real object at C, the real image is formed at
C. The image is inverted and the same size as
the object.
For a real object close to the mirror but outside of the
center of curvature, the real image is formed between
C and f. The image is inverted and smaller than the
What size image is formed if the
real object is placed at the focal
point f?

For a real object at f, no image is formed. The

reflected rays are parallel and never converge.
29.3 Mirrors
The law of reflection holds for curved mirrors. However, the sizes and distances of
object and image are no longer equal.
The virtual image formed by a convex mirror (a mirror that curves outward) is
smaller and closer to the mirror than the object is.
29.3 Mirrors
The law of reflection holds for curved mirrors. However, the sizes and distances of
object and image are no longer equal.
The virtual image formed by a convex mirror (a mirror that curves outward) is
smaller and closer to the mirror than the object is.
When an object is close to a concave mirror (a mirror that curves inward), the
virtual image is larger and farther away than the object is.
Converging (Concave) Mirror
A converging mirror is one that is spherical in nature by
which it can FOCUS parallel light rays to a point
directly in front of its surface. Every spherical mirror
can do this and this special point is at a “fixed”
position for every mirror. We call this point the
FOCAL POINT. To find this point you MUST use
light from “infinity”
Light from an
distance, most
likely the sun.
Converging (Concave) Mirror
Since the
mirror is
spherical it
has a
We also draw a line through the E, C. The
center of the mirror and call it focal point
the PRINCIPAL AXIS. happens to be
HALF this
Convex Mirrors
• Curves outward
• Reduces images
• Virtual images
–Use: Rear view mirrors, store

CAUTION! Objects are closer than

they appear!
Lenses are made of transparent Convex (Converging)
materials, like glass or plastic, that Lens
typically have an index of refraction
greater than that of air. Each of a lens’
two faces is part of a sphere and can be
convex or concave (or one face may be
flat). If a lens is thicker at the center
than the edges, it is a convex, or Concave (Diverging)
converging, lens since parallel rays will Lens
be converged to meet at the focus. A
lens which is thinner in the center than
the edges is a concave, or diverging,
lens since rays going through it will be
spread out.
Lenses: Focal Length

• Like mirrors, lenses have a principal axis perpendicular to their

surface and passing through their midpoint.
• Lenses also have a vertical axis, or principal plane, through their

• They have a focal point, F, and the focal length is the distance from
the vertical axis to F.
• There is no real center of curvature, so 2F is used to denote twice
the focal length.
Concave Lens Diagram

No matter where the

object is placed, the
image will be on the
same side as the
•2F •F •F •2F object. The image is
image virtual, upright, and
smaller than the object
with a concave lens.
Experiment with
this diagram
• The human eye is the sense organ which helps us to see the
colourful world around us.
• The human eye is like a camera. Its lens system forms an image on
a light sensitive screen called retina. The eye ball is almost spherical
in shape with a diameter of about 2.3cm. Light enters the eye through a
transparent membrane called cornea. Behind the cornea is a muscular
diaphragm called iris which has an opening called pupil. The pupil controls
the amount of light entering the eye. The eye lens helps to focus the image of
objects on the retina. The ciliary muscles helps to
• change the curvature of the lens and to change its focal length.

• b) Working of the eye :-

• The eye lens forms a real inverted image of the object on the
• retina. The light sensitive cells in the retina then produce electrical
• signals which are carried by the optic nerves to the brain. The brain
• processes the information and sends the message to the eye and then
• we see the object.
c) Power of accomodation of the eye :-
The ability of the eye lens to see both near and
distant objects by adjusting its focal length is
called the power of accommodation of the
eye.The eye lens is composed of a fibrous jelly like
material. Its curvature can be changed to some
extent by the ciliary muscles. The change in the
curvature of the eye lens can change its focal
length. When the muscles are relaxed, the lens
becomes thin and its focal length increases and
when the muscles contract, the lens becomes thick
and its focal length decreases.
d) Near point :-
The minimum distance at which the eye can see
objects clearly is called the near point or least
distance of distinct vision. For a normal eye it is
e) Far point :-
The farthest distance upto which the eye can see
objects clearly is called the far point of the eye. For
a normal eye it is between 25cm and infinity.
Human eye
The human eye is a fluid-filled
object that focuses images of
objects on the retina. The
cornea, with an index of
refraction of about 1.38, is Human eye w/rays
where most of the refraction
.occurs. Some of this light will
then passes through the pupil
opening into the lens, with an
index of refraction of about
Refracting Telescopes
Refracting telescopes are comprised of two convex lenses. The objective
lens collects light from a distant source, converging it to a focus and
forming a real, inverted image inside the telescope. The objective lens
needs to be fairly large in order to have enough light-gathering power so
that the final image is bright enough to see. An eyepiece lens is situated
beyond this focal point by a distance equal to its own focal length. Thus,
each lens has a focal point at F. The rays exiting the eyepiece are nearly
parallel, resulting in a magnified, inverted, virtual image. Besides
magnification, a good telescope also needs resolving power, which is its
ability to distinguish objects with very small angular separations.

Reflecting Telescopes
Galileo was the first to use a refracting telescope for astronomy. It is
difficult to make large refracting telescopes, though, because the
objective lens becomes so heavy that it is distorted by its own weight. In
1668 Newton invented a reflecting telescope. Instead of an objective
lens, it uses a concave objective mirror, which focuses incoming parallel
rays. A small plane mirror is placed at this focal point to shoot the light
up to an eyepiece lens (perpendicular to incoming rays) on the side of
the telescope. The mirror serves to gather as much light as possible,
while the eyepiece lens, as in the refracting scope, is responsible for the
Electromagnetic Radiation

 Electromagnetic waves perpendicular

waves combing the electric and magnetic

 Electromagnetic waves are produced when

an electric charge vibrates or accelerates
and can travel through empty space or
through matter.
Electromagnetic Spectrum
• Gamma rays Highest
• X – rays frequency
• Ultraviolet Shortest
• Visible light wavelength
• Infra-red
• Microwaves
• Radio waves
Electromagnetic Spectrum Diagram

• Diagram of Electromagnetic Spectrum

(including the relationship between
frequency and wavelength).
Speed of Electromagnetic Waves

• All electromagnetic waves travel at 3.0 x

108 m/s in a vacuum.
• Speed of a wave formula:
– Speed = Frequency x Wavelength
• As the frequency increases, the wavelength
Electromagnetic Spectrum
• Includes the following types of waves
– Radio
– Microwaves
– Radar
– Infrared
– Visible Light
– Ultraviolet
– X-Rays
– Gamma Rays
Electromagnetic Spectrum

• ………………………………………………
Hence this is the complete EM wave spectrum (the waves below in 
ascending order of wavelength;
descending order of frequency )

Gamma x-rays Ultra-violet Visible Infra- Microwave Radio wave

rays ray light red ray

Highest f Lowest f
Shortest λ Longest λ
Overview of EM
Longitudinal Waves Transverse Waves

Sound Electromagnetic Waves

waves Properties Classified into

Comprises of
Electromagnetic Spectrum

Radiowave Infra-Red Ultra-Violet Gamma ray

Microwave Light X-ray

Gamma rays

Gamma rays have the shortest

wavelengths and highest frequencies in
the EM spectrum.
It is generated by :
Changes in energy levels in the nucleus

Some radioactive substances and certain

nuclear reactions produce gamma rays.

Because of their great penetrating ability,

gamma rays can cause serious illness. However
when used in controlled conditions, gamma
rays is useful in cancer treatment.
Uses of Gamma Rays

• Kill cancer cells

• Study the nucleus in
Gamma Rays
• Gamma rays are the highest
energy electromagnetic wave.
• They usually come from
radioactive elements or stars
– Uses include:
• Killing cancer cells
• Making pictures of the brain
• Inspection tools in industry

X rays is generated by :
a) Rapid deleceration of fast moving electrons
b) Changes in energy of innermost orbital

X-rays are used for :

• diagnostic tool in dentistry and medicine.
Doctors and dentists can examine the condition
of a person’s bones, the root of this teeth or the
state of other inner part of the body.
• Custom officers at airports inspect the content
of your luggage using X-rays.
• Industry wise, it is used to find cracks in
structures just like cracks in bones.

• X-Rays have high energy and can penetrate

some material.
– Used in:
• Medicine
• Industry
• Transportation
• Too much exposure can damage
living tissue or even cause cancer.
X - Rays
• X-Ray radiation has a high
…………………….. ability and
can pass right through our bodies.
• X-rays film forms images
depending on the
………………….. of the X-rays
falling on it.
• The ……………….. left by things
that the X-rays can't travel through
(like bones or metal) form the
…………… on medical X-rays.
• Over exposure can cause ………..
Uses of X-rays

• Take ‘pictures’ of
bones in the body
• Study the crystal
structure of
• Check for cracks in
metal plates
Ultraviolet Waves
• UV Light that is at a higher frequency and
energy than violet light.
• UV light can kill micro-organisms.
• Too much exposure can cause:
– Sunburn, Wrinkles, and skin cancer
– As it damages cell DNA
The main source of ultra-violet radiation is sunlight and it is this radiation
which gives rise to suntan and also sunburn.
Ultra-violet radiation is used in hospitals to sterilize the surgical instruments
and operating theatres as it kills bacteria and viruses.
UV can be detected by:
a) Photographic plates
b) Photoelectric cell
c) Fluorescence
Uses of Ultraviolet

• Detect counterfeit
• Gives the clothes
a ‘glow’ effect in
• Sun-tanning
• Sterilise medical
Visible Light
• Visible light is made up of the various ..................... of
colored light.
• The ……… is determined by the frequency of the light.
• When electromagnetic radiation of this frequency falls on
our ……………. our brain interprets it as colour.
Visible Light
Visible light is the part of the EM spectrum
which can be detected by the human eye.

The visible light has its own spectrum which

consist of the 7 colours of light :
Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Indigo

An example of visible light is the colourful

laser light or the light from a firework.

Some of the uses of light is in

optical fibres in medicine and
Visible Light
• Our eyes detect
electromagnetic energy in a
small portion of the
electromagnetic spectrum
called the visible light region.

• The visible light region

corresponds the wavelengths
and frequencies of red,
orange, yellow, green, blue,
Uses of Visible Light

• Enable us to see
• Photosynthesis in
Infra-red waves
Heat can be transferred through infrared radiation.
We often think of infra red as being the same thing as
'heat', because it makes our skin feel warm.

Most of you might have seen

infra-red waves in use during the
SARS period. (picture on the top
right hand corner). It shows a
thermo-detector which is placed
outside hospitals/airport to
identify the warm and cool parts
of a person by analyzing infra-
red radiation emitted from the
Uses of Infra-red

• Heating
• Haze
Infrared image of a human body. Red is hot, blue is cool.
Infrared Waves
• Infrared waves are heat waves.
• All objects emit infrared waves because all objects possess
• Night vision goggles detect infrared waves and allow the
user to see the movement of objects in the dark.
• Many TV remotes use infrared.
One of their most common uses is in
microwave ovens. When you switch on a
microwave oven , it gives off
electromagnetic waves that bounce around
inside the oven, penetrating the food. Water
molecules in the food absorb the energy
from the microwaves, causing the food to
get hot.

Other uses of microwaves:

a) Radar communication (as it is not easily
blocked of by buildings/trees)
b) Analysis of fine details of molecular and
atomic structure
c) Useful demonstration of all wave properties
on macroscopic scale
d) Telephone communication (mobile phones,
Uses of Microwaves

• Radar communication
• Analysis of the
molecular and atomic
• Telephone
Radio waves
Radio waves are the electromagnetic waves with
the longest wavelengths and lowest

Like all electromagnetic waves, radio waves can

travel through a vacuum. However most of
the radio waves we receive have traveled
through air. Take the radio as an example. The
radio converts the electromagnetic waves into
the sound that comes out of the radio

Uses of radio waves:

a) Radio and television communication (to
transmit sound and picture information
over long distance)
b) Radar & satellite communication
c) Navigation or ships & aircrafts
Uses of Radio Waves

• Radar
• TV and radio
Radio Waves
• Radio waves have the
wavelengths in the
electromagnetic spectrum.
• These waves can be longer
than a ………………. or as
short as a …………….
• Radio waves do more than
just bring music to your
• They also carry ………….
for your ……………… and
………………….. phones
• THANK YOU ……..
Section Check
Question 1

Why do the feet of a person standing still in a swimming pool appear to

move back and forth?

A. Because water is denser than air.

B. Because water is more viscous than air.

C. Because light changes direction as it passes into air.

D. Because light spreads as it passes from air to water.

Section Check
Answer 1

Answer: C

Reason: When light passes from one medium to

another, its path bends due to refraction. As
light waves travel along the surface of water,
the boundary between air and water moves up
and down, and tilts back and forth. The path
of light leaving the water shifts as the
boundary moves, causing objects under the
surface to appear waver.
Section Check

Question 2

What happens when light traveling from a region of a higher index of

refraction to a region of a lower index of refraction strikes the
boundary at an angle greater than the critical angle?

A. All light reflects back into the region of higher index of refraction.

B. The refracted light ray lies along the boundary of the two media.

C. The angle of refraction is less than the angle of incident.

D. All light reflects into the region of lower index of refraction.

Section Check
Answer 2

Answer: A

Reason: Total internal reflection occurs when

light traveling from a region of higher
index of refraction to a region of lower
index of refraction strikes the boundary
at an angle greater than the critical angle
such that all light reflects back into the
region of higher index of refraction.
Section Check
Question 3

Explain why you cannot see a swimmer who is underwater near the
surface, and on the opposite side of the pool.

A. This is because the light from the swimmer’s body refracts along the
boundary of air and water.

B. This is because the light from the swimmer’s body is not transmitted
from the water into the air, but is reflected.

C. This is because the light from the swimmer’s body refracts on the
opposite side of the pool.

D. This is because the light from the swimmer’s body is partially

refracted and partially reflected.
Section Check
Answer 3

Answer: B

Reason: The surface of water acts like a

mirror. Hence, when a swimmer is
underwater, the light from the
swimmer’s body is not transmitted from
the water into the air, but is reflected
back into the water. Therefore, we
cannot see the swimmer from the
opposite side of the pool.
Assessment Questions
4. Refraction occurs when a wave crosses a boundary and changes
a. speed and direction.
b. intensity.
c. frequency.
d. amplitude.
Assessment Questions
5. Changes in wind speed and temperature cause sound waves to
a. reflect.
b. reverberate.
c. refract.
d. scatter.
Assessment Questions
5.Changes in wind speed and temperature cause sound waves to
a. reflect.
b. reverberate.
c. refract.
d. scatter.

Answer: C
Assessment Questions
6. Refracted light that bends away from the normal is light that has
a. slowed down.
b. speeded up.
c. nearly been absorbed.
d. diffracted.
Assessment Questions
6. Refracted light that bends away from the normal is light that has
a. slowed down.
b. speeded up.
c. nearly been absorbed.
d. diffracted.

Answer: B
Assessment Questions
7. Atmospheric refraction occurs with changes in
a. wind speed.
b. air temperature.
c. the presence of water.
d. both wind speed and air temperature.
Assessment Questions
7.Atmospheric refraction occurs with changes in
a. wind speed.
b. air temperature.
c. the presence of water.
d. both wind speed and air temperature.

Answer: B
Assessment Questions
8.When light incident on a prism separates into a spectrum, we call the process
a. reflection.
b. interference.
c. diffraction.
d. dispersion.
Assessment Questions
8. When light incident on a prism separates into a spectrum, we call the process
a. reflection.
b. interference.
c. diffraction.
d. dispersion.

Answer: D
Assessment Questions
9. A rainbow is the result of light in raindrops that undergoes
a. internal reflection.
b. dispersion.
c. refraction.
d. all of these
Assessment Questions
9. A rainbow is the result of light in raindrops that undergoes
a. internal reflection.
b. dispersion.
c. refraction.
d. all of these

Answer: D
Assessment Questions
10. The critical angle in total internal reflection occurs when incident light on a
surface is
a. refracted at 90° to the normal.
b. reflected at 90° to the normal.
c. at maximum diffraction.
d. totally absorbed.
Assessment Questions
10. The critical angle in total internal reflection occurs when incident light on a
surface is
a. refracted at 90° to the normal.
b. reflected at 90° to the normal.
c. at maximum diffraction.
d. totally absorbed.

Answer: A