The Nature of Light:


    1.    Describe the dual-nature of an electromagnetic wave.

    2.    Describe the relationship between visible light, radio waves, microwaves, and X-rays.

Key Terms:

    electromagnetic spectrum    electromagnetic wave    infrared    ultraviolet    light-year




Nature of Light:

Light Energy:

Light is energy.  Light is also an electromagnetic wave.  Electromagnetic waves are named so because the consist of two waves. One part electric and the other magnetic.  Most electromagnetic waves are the result of excited electrons surrounding the nuclei of atoms. 

        The amount of energy a photon contains determines what type of light is emitted



Electromagnetic Waves: (Light)

The above chart is called the electromagnetic spectrum.  In the center is the visible light spectrum. 


3 types of spectrums

  1. Continuous spectrum

    ( hlab/images/continuous.gif)

  2. Emission spectrum

    ( hlab/images/continuous.gif)

  3. Absorption spectrum

    ( hlab/images/continuous.gif)

Electromagnetic wavelengths

Transmission of light

Color of light

Doppler effect