Properties of Light

Light is one of the most basic physical phenomena. It is observed by most people on a daily basis, and even people who lack formal understanding of the properties of light have some understanding of its properties. For example, most people have seen mirrors, rainbows, and know that glasses can improve vision, though they may not understand that reflection of light explains how mirrors work, that dispersion explains the formation of a rainbow, or that refraction of light is used to form optic lenses. This paper will describe the various properties of light and explain how it acts in various mediums. It will discuss: the nature of light, which is a particular but behaves like a wave; color; velocity; refractive index; reflection; refraction; dispersion; total internal reflection; diffraction; and interference. Taken together, these various properties help explain how light functions.

Light is a form of electromagnetic radiation....
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