What Are the Basic Properties of Light?

The basic properties of light are its wavelength, frequency, energy and speed. Light is composed of energy particles called photons and can behave as either a wave or as separate particles.

The wavelength and frequency of light determine where the light is located along the electromagnetic spectrum. Light can be classified as gamma rays, x-rays, ultraviolet, visible, infrared, microwave or radio waves. Another property of light is refraction, which describes how the light bends when it passes through a substance. Light also exhibits a property called dispersion, in which the light breaks down into individual wavelengths, such as in a prism.