Physics Van 3-site Navigational Menu

Physics Van Navigational Menu

Q & A: How does light travel?

Learn more physics!

Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
Can light only travel in straight lines?
hillcrest abortion clinic abortive live abortion video
types of abortions site what happens when you get an abortion
cvs discount card click prescription drugs discount cards
free prescription cards nwwebdesigns.net walgreens prints coupon codes
coupons rx prostudiousa.com www.januvia.com coupons
coupons rx prostudiousa.com www.januvia.com coupons
lisinopril and bisoprolol lisinopril and bisoprolol lisinopril and bisoprolol
cialis dosage and go cialis dose for copd pts
viagra bestellen online viagra pillen kruidvat pillen kopen
where buy viagra online http://viagraforsaleuk1.com online viagra buy
naproxennatrium zygonie.com naproxen migraine
arcoxia 30 go arcoxia wiki
niacine movidafm.net niacin v hrani
kamagra wikipedia kamagra jelly kamagra shop
flibanserin online click flibanserin buy
proscar vs propecia for hair loss proscar pris proscar pris
fluvoxamine (luvox) open fluvoxamina bula
cialis open cialis walgreen coupon
buscopan hund buscopan dosierung buscopan dragees
motilium enceinte site motilium et grossesse
cialis coupon card coupon prescription cialis coupon
vivitrol alcohol naltrexone alcoholism medication narcan challenge

- moira magee (age 31)
ireland
A:
Moira -

Great question! Light actually moves in waves. The wavelength, the distance from one wave "crest" to the next,  determines the color of the light. If you look closely, however, you can see that the light spreads out just like other waves do- say a water wave passing through a little passage. This becomes particularly noticeable if you look at light that has passed through a narrow slit. However, the wavelength of visible light is so small that you can make beams which travel in straight lines without spreding out very much.


Light changes direction when it bumps into some sort of change in material, as we describe below.

(1) Reflection. Reflection is what happens when light bounces off of something. This is what you see when you look in the mirror. This is also what you see when you look at most things around you, not counting light bulbs, fires, and other actual sources of light. In order to reach your eyes, light bounces off of the object that you're looking at, changing its direction. It can also bounce off of particles (like water droplets) in the air, which is why you may be able to see beams of sunlight on a foggy day.

(2) Refraction. Refraction is what happens when light passes from one medium (one type of stuff) into another. When this happens, the light will actually bend. (Actually, it usually splits in two - some of it reflects off the surface, and some of it keeps going through.) The light that goes through bends at the surface. The angle that it bends at depends on what the two media are. For example, light will bend a different amount when it goes from air into glass than it does when it goes from air into water.

Block angle

This is a really good picture of light passing through a piece of glass. You can see that some of the light bends and goes through the glass (refraction), and some of the light bounces off of the surface of the glass (reflection).

-Tamara (some mods by mw)
cvs discount card cvs coupon online prescription drugs discount cards
buy sildenafil 100mg buy sildenafil 100mg viagra 100 mg
rite aid prescription transfer coupon open coupon rite aid
priligy 30mg go cialis 40mg
priligy 30mg click cialis 40mg
levitra pill go tadalafil pill
finasteride sigridw.com cialis 80mg
new prescription coupon viagra coupons printable prescription coupon card
pfizer coupons for viagra viagra coupon viagra discounts coupons
can i take antabuse and naltrexone can i take antabuse and naltrexone can i take antabuse and naltrexone
viagra bestellen online viagra online shop pillen kopen
lilly cialis coupon coupons for prescriptions coupons prescriptions
venlafaxine gewichtstoename idippedut.dk venlafaxine fk
arcoxia 30 click arcoxia wiki
champix alkohol mdwguide.com champix
niacine movidafm.net niacin v hrani
diflucan 150 diflucan djelovanje diflucan sirup
diflucan 150 diflucan djelovanje diflucan sirup
seroquel 25 mg click seroquel debljanje
buscopan hund buscopan wirkung buscopan dragees
voltaren retard voltaren pomada voltaren spray

(published on 10/22/2007)

Follow-up on this answer.