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What is Light?

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A series of free Science Lessons for 7th Grade and 8th Grade, KS3 and Checkpoint Science in preparation for GCSE and IGCSE Science.

How do we see?
A ray diagram shows how light travels, including what happens when it reaches a surface. In a ray diagram, you draw each ray as a straight line with an arrowhead pointing in the direction that the light travels. Remember to use a ruler and a sharp pencil.
When light reaches a mirror, it reflects off the surface of the mirror. The incident ray is the light going towards the mirror and the reflected ray is the light coming away from the mirror. The angle of incidence = angle of reflection.

Light waves change speed when they pass across the boundary between two substances with a different density, such as air and glass. This causes them to change direction, an effect called refraction.
At the boundary between two transparent substances, the light slows down going into a denser substance, and the ray bends towards the normal the light speeds up going into a less dense substance, and the ray bends away from the normal.

Colour and dispersion
Seeing in Colour

What Light Is? - The history
Beyond what we can touch, taste, smell, and hear, we experience the universe through light. But how did we come to discover light, and how did we learn light’s true nature, as the fastest thing in the universe, an electromagnetic spectrum, a wave and particle capable of the most amazing things? Here is the history of light, according to physics.

Rotate to landscape screen format on a mobile phone or small tablet to use the Mathway widget, a free math problem solver that answers your questions with step-by-step explanations.

You can use the free Mathway calculator and problem solver below to practice Algebra or other math topics. Try the given examples, or type in your own problem and check your answer with the step-by-step explanations.

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