Optics & 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.

See Full Answer
Filed Under:
  • What is pitch in physics?

    Q: What is pitch in physics?

    A: Pitch, in physics, is equivalent to the frequency of sound waves, which are any compression waves in a medium. The word "pitch" is used specifically in situations where humans are perceiving the frequency of sound and changes in that frequency. Differences and changes in perceived pitch aren't always the same as the actual differences and changes in the frequencies of the sounds perceived.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • What is the difference between reflection and refraction?

    Q: What is the difference between reflection and refraction?

    A: The difference between reflection and refraction is that in reflection waves bounce off of a surface while in refraction those waves do not bounce back but pass through the surface, which bends them and changes the speed of the waves. The image of a face is reflected back from a pool of water, but the light on the bottom of the pool of water is refracted because it is uneven and hazy due to the way the water bends the light waves.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • What are some examples of sound energy?

    Q: What are some examples of sound energy?

    A: Examples of sound energy include sounds made by singing, whistling, musical instruments and horns. Sound is a vibration that causes a wave of pressure through air, water, wood and other mediums. It is heard when the wave reaches the ear and is perceived by the brain. Sound waves have characteristics including their frequency, amplitude, intensity, speed, direction and wavelength.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • What are examples of nonluminous objects?

    Q: What are examples of nonluminous objects?

    A: The moon and Earth are examples of non-luminous objects. Non-luminous objects become visible only when they reflect light produced by a luminous object. A luminous object, such as the sun, emits its own light, because it has its own source of energy.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • 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.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • What are some benefits of radio waves?

    Q: What are some benefits of radio waves?

    A: Radio waves are used to transmit signals through the air, with the main benefit being that the only equipment necessary is a transmitter and receiver. There are no cables to string or holes to dig as the waves are simply transmitted from one place to another.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • 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.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • 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.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • What is a light ray?

    Q: What is a light ray?

    A: A light ray is a basic element in geometrical optics. It is a hypothetical construct that, from any point in space, indicates the propagation of light. The concept that light travels in straight lines led to the development of the light ray concept.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • How do optical cables work?

    Q: How do optical cables work?

    A: According to HowStuffWorks, optical cables work by lining the inside of a wire with thin strands of glass and coating those strands of glass with two layers of plastic. The plastic creates a mirror-like effect around the glass that allows for internal reflection to help light travel through the optic strands.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • How do we see light?

    Q: How do we see light?

    A: The human eye sees light with the pupil and the retina. Located inside the retina are two types of special cells called photoreceptor cells. There are two varieties of photoreceptor cells known as cones and rods.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • What is the highest frequency a human can hear?

    Q: What is the highest frequency a human can hear?

    A: Humans can generally hear frequencies from 20 to 20,000 hertz. However, under ideal laboratory conditions, humans have been able to hear frequencies as low as 12 hertz. As humans get older or are exposed to loud sounds that damage their hearing, the highest frequency they can hear decreases.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • Why do lights appear to flicker from a distance?

    Q: Why do lights appear to flicker from a distance?

    A: The flickering or twinkling effect of lights when observed from a distance is caused by anomalous refraction as light passes through air, schlieren, where temperatures and densities vary. The technical term for this phenomenon is called "scintillation," and it refers to the rapid changes in the position and color of a distant object.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • 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.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • What is light made up of?

    Q: What is light made up of?

    A: Light is made of photons, which are fundamental particles. Because photons have no mass, relativistic effects allow them to travel at appropriately the speed of light.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • What makes sound waves?

    Q: What makes sound waves?

    A: Mechanical motion forms through the sound waves made by vibrating massive objects. Guitar, harp or piano strings are clear examples of the principle, but horns, percussive instruments and woodwinds also create vibrations that make sound waves. Even ordinary objects create sound waves if they vibrate.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • 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.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • What is a sonic boom?

    Q: What is a sonic boom?

    A: A sonic boom as an impulsive wave similar to thunder caused by an object exceeding the speed of sound, according to Sky-flash.com. The speed of sound is approximately 750 mph at sea level.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • What did Wilhelm Roentgen invent?

    Q: What did Wilhelm Roentgen invent?

    A: Wilhelm Roentgen invented the use of cathode rays to take X-rays of the body in 1895, according to About.com. Roentgen was honored for his discovery by receiving the Nobel Prize in physics in 1901.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • What is the relationship between vibration and sound?

    Q: What is the relationship between vibration and sound?

    A: Sound is created through the vibration of air. When something produces vibrations, it creates sound waves. The movement of the vibration through the air is what people hear when they hear sound.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under:
  • What does the acronym LASER stand for?

    Q: What does the acronym LASER stand for?

    A: LASER is the abbreviation (or acronym) of "light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation," according to Curiosity.com. The foundation work for lasers was set in motion by Albert Einstein in 1917, according to Wikipedia.
    See Full Answer
    Filed Under: