What Are the Basic Properties of Light?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Apr 8, 2020 2:25:04 AM ET

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.