Optics & Waves

A:

Lasers are mostly red in color because red has the longest wavelength, approximately 650 nanometers. Because of this, red does not scatter easily and can be viewed from a long distance.

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  • How do sound waves travel?

    Q: How do sound waves travel?

    A: How Stuff Works explains that sound travels in mechanical waves, and these waves are disturbances that cause energy to move. The energy is then transported through a medium. Disturbances occur when an object vibrates. This vibration is caused by interconnected and interactive particles.
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  • What is nuclear radiation?

    Q: What is nuclear radiation?

    A: Nuclear radiation is the release of energy-bearing rays, waves or particles that occurs when an atom is split. This specific process is called fission, and it can occur in both natural and artificial situations. Nuclear energy can be harnessed from these reactions and transformed into usable electricity, but the waves and particles released during fission can also cause radiation that is dangerous to living beings.
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  • What are light waves?

    Q: What are light waves?

    A: Light is made up of billions of tiny particles known as photons, which travel from one place to another place in waves known as light waves. Visible light waves are the only electromagnetic waves that the human eye can see. These waves are visible as the seven colors of the rainbow known as red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.
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  • What is light made of?

    Q: What is light made of?

    A: The exact composition of light has eluded physicists for years, but the predominant theory is that light is comprised of a kind of energy called electromagnetic radiation. This energy behaves like a wave and a particle in different situations. Scientists believe electromagnetic radiation is composed of bundles of energy called photons.
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  • What is the difference between frequency and pitch?

    Q: What is the difference between frequency and pitch?

    A: Frequency refers to the number of vibrations that an individual particle makes in a specific period of time -- specifically, how often a wave peak goes by. Pitch, on the other hand, refers to the sensation of a frequency -- specifically, how high or low the frequency sounds.
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  • What are the characteristics of sound waves?

    Q: What are the characteristics of sound waves?

    A: The most basic characteristics of a sound wave are pitch, loudness and tone. A sound wave's frequency is experienced as the wave's pitch. The amplitude determines loudness or volume. The tone of a sound wave can be recognized by the regularity of its vibration.
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  • When does the Calvin cycle of photosynthesis begin?

    Q: When does the Calvin cycle of photosynthesis begin?

    A: The Calvin cycle of photosynthesis begins after light energy is transformed into chemical energy by the cells of plants. The adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, molecules created power the Calvin cycle. The Calvin cycle uses the energy to create carbohydrates from water and carbon dioxide.
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  • What are optical fibers made from?

    Q: What are optical fibers made from?

    A: Commercial optical fiber cables use highly purified glass for their cores, glass or polymers for their cladding, and polyurethane for their jackets. Some optical fiber cables use plastic cores, which are cheaper; however, this type of cable has a higher signal loss and works at shorter ranges than glass. Both types transmit light signals using reflection along the axis of the core.
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  • How does chromatic adaptation work?

    Q: How does chromatic adaptation work?

    A: Chromatic adaptation enables the human eye to adapt to various forms of light. According to Images And Visual Representation Group, chromatic adaptation causes the eyes to ignore the color of the surrounding light, enabling them to retain the color and appearance of the original object even after looking at something else.
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  • What does a light wave look like?

    Q: What does a light wave look like?

    A: Humans see light waves as colors. The specific color is determined by the measurement of the wavelength. On the visible light spectrum, the shortest wavelengths are violet and the longest wavelengths are red.
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  • What is the speed of light in miles per second?

    Q: What is the speed of light in miles per second?

    A: The speed of light is 186,282 miles per second. An object travelling at the speed of light would make approximately 7.5 rounds around the Earth in one second.
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  • Why are the uplink and downlink frequencies different in satellite communications?

    Q: Why are the uplink and downlink frequencies different in satellite communications?

    A: Satellite uplink and downlink frequencies vary from one transmission source to another, but all must be different from one another in order to avoid interference during transmission. This is due to the waveforms created during signal transmission, as identical frequency transmissions disrupt the distance and clarity of the signal.
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  • Who invented the Doppler Effect?

    Q: Who invented the Doppler Effect?

    A: The Doppler Effect was proposed by Austrian physicist Christian Doppler in 1842. The theory was tested in 1845 by Dutch meteorologist C.H.D. Buys Ballot. Ballot's findings were supported by Scottish scientist John Scott Russell in 1848.
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  • What causes light refraction?

    Q: What causes light refraction?

    A: Refraction is caused by light passing from one medium to another (from air to water, for example) and experiencing a change in speed. A fisherman looking into water to spear a fish will have to remember that refraction will distort the image he sees under the water's surface.
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  • How does sound travel through a medium?

    Q: How does sound travel through a medium?

    A: Sound travels as a back-and-forth vibration of the particles of its medium. It is a longitudinal mechanical pressure wave that varies greatly in its speed of travel and the distance it remains coherent, dependent upon the medium. Sound in air travels relatively slowly and for a short distance, while sound in a solid, such as the primary waves of an earthquake, travel extremely quickly and to great distances.
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  • Can sound travel through water?

    Q: Can sound travel through water?

    A: Although sound can travel through water, it will be distorted compared to sound traveling through air. As sound waves pass through the water, they are attenuated and slowed, leading to frequency warping and decreases in amplitude.
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  • What is the definition of resonant frequency?

    Q: What is the definition of resonant frequency?

    A: Resonance frequencies are the natural frequencies at which it is easiest to get an object to vibrate. While setting up vibrations at other frequencies is possible, they require much more energy and constant input to maintain than a resonance frequency. Most objects have several resonance frequencies, and this property must be taken into account because of their positive, as with musical instruments, or negative, as with bridges, effects.
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  • What is an instrument that separates light into various wavelengths?

    Q: What is an instrument that separates light into various wavelengths?

    A: A prism is an instrument that separates light into various wavelengths. Visible white light contains light of many different wavelengths. When white light passes through a prism, each wavelength bends at a different angle to produce a rainbow effect with each wavelength of light displayed in its own band.
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  • Can light bend?

    Q: Can light bend?

    A: Yes, light can bend through diffraction and refraction. Diffraction is when light bends around a corner or a small opening and fills the larger space beyond it. Refraction is the bending of light when it transitions through different mediums, such as light seen in the air and entering into water.
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  • How do waves carry energy from one place to another?

    Q: How do waves carry energy from one place to another?

    A: Energy is transferred in electromagnetic waves by vibrations in electric and magnetic fields. The vibration of air particles is energy transfer in sound waves, while the transfer of energy in water waves is the oscillation of water particles.
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  • What are the dangers of infrared waves?

    Q: What are the dangers of infrared waves?

    A: Infrared waves are dangerous because they can cause burns, skin irritation, dehydration, low blood pressure and eye damage. A form of heat radiation, infrared waves are most dangerous at high levels.
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