Science Web Assignment for Unit 49
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Several centuries of experiements on the nature of light still leave us with many puzzles. Light behaves like a wave when it travels through a medium, but it behaves like a series of small packets of energy (photons) when it interacts with matter. We can sense electromagnetic radiation with our eyes (visible light), with our skin (which sunburns in UV light) and with all of our body (feeling infrared light as heat). It is simple to say light is a form of energy, but difficult to show how light energy manifests itself in many different phenomena, including reflection and refraction through media like glass lenses, and as different frequencies through filters.
The following readings ask you to examine only a few of the key characteristics of light.
Take a look at the Readings on Light and Optics at the Patterns in Nature site. There are a number of different pages, and you may need to look at several in order to answer the following questions. [This is an archive of a discontinued website, and some images may be missing.]
Study the discussion of the dual nature of light based on the Nobel prize archives.
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