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Light Rays

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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.

The Ray Model of Light

Light sources and shadows
• In the ray model of light, The light is depicted as traveling in straight lines away from the source.
• This explains why lights are brighter when you are closer to them.
• If the object is transparent, the light rays will easily pass right through it.
• If the object is translucent, the light rays will go through, but will get scattered along the way.
• If the object is opaque, the light rays are absorbed and/or reflected and none will go through the object.
• When an object is closer to a light source, it will create a larger shadow.
• If the light source is larger, the shadow will be less defined, with blurrier edges.
• If you have a point source of light, the shadow will be well defined with a sharp edge.
• The umbra is where all of the light is blocked and the darkest shadow can be found.
• The penumbra is the lighter part of a shadow surrounding the umbra.
• In regular reflection, all the light rays strike the surface of an object and bounce oss at the same angle. This allows you to see a reflected image.
• In diffuse reflection, the light rays hit the object and are scattered in all directions. This means there is no image seen but the object is illuminated and therefore visible.

Light Travels in Straight Lines
1. Arrange three pieces of card, with holes in, in an uneven line. The light stops and cannot travel through all three cards.

2. When the holes are arranged in a straight line, the light can travel through.
How a Periscope Works?
Two plane mirrors may be used together to give a person at the back of a crowd a view of an event.

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