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Light And Colour. Essay

1582 words - 6 pages

You're reading this to learn a little about light. Well, you're going to learn a lot. Right now scientists are still trying to figure out the connection betIen light and matter. Scientists began studying light a long time ago. A big breakthrough happened when Newton started to break light up with prisms in the late 1600s. Only recently have scientists begun to understand how light works and its connection to everything in the Universe.How "Fast" is the Speed of Light?Light travels at a constant, finite speed of 186,000 mi/sec. A traveler, moving at the speed of light, would circum-navigate the equator approximately 7.5 times in one second. By comparison, a traveler in a jet aircraft, moving at a ground speed of 500 mph, would cross the continental U.S. once in 4 hoursLet's take a moment to talk about visible light. As you can tell by the name, visible light is the light I can see as humans. More specifically, you see the light that is not absorbed by objects. For example... Green plants are green because they absorb all of the colours of the visible spectrum except the green colour (you could also say the green wavelengths). A red wall is red to your eyes because it is not absorbing light from the red wavelengths. Mirrors reflect all of the colours of visible light.We describe the world the way we see it as humans. Other living things on Earth see the world in different ways. Dogs only see things in black, white and gray. Some insects see colours that none of us can see. When you are learning about visible light you should remember I mean visible to humans. And then of course I should mention that not all humans can see all the colours. There is something called colour-blind that affects many men. Colour-blind men cannot see certain colours of the spectrum. It has to do with a genetic defect in their eyes.What are colours?Now I must introduce you to Mr. Roy G. Biv. Was he a scientist? No. Did he create great optics and telescopes? No. He is not even a he. ROY-G-BIV is the acronym that represents all of the colours in the visible spectrum of light. It's like this...R - RedO - OrangeY - YellowG - GreenB - BlueI - IndigoV - VioletNot only are those the colours we can see as humans, but they are also in the right order. Red has the longest wavelength and violet has the shortest. You could also say that red is the least energetic and violet is the most energetic of the visible spectrum. Very helpful.Waves of lightAll types of light move in wave-like patterns. In each wave pattern you can see that there are high points and low points. The distance betIen two high points, or low points, is called the WAVELENGTH. Scientists use the Greek letter LAMBDA to describe that distance. Depending on what type of light you are talking about, each type has a different lambda, or wavelength. All of the wavelengths of light together are called the EM (electromagnetic) SPECTRA.Packets of lightNot only does light move in waves, it also moves with a flow of little...

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