Optics & Waves

A:

The speed of light in water is approximately 225,000 km per second. While enormously fast, this is notably slower than the speed of light in a vacuum, which is 300,000 km per second.

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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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  • 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 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.
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  • Why are lasers red?

    Q: Why are lasers red?

    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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  • 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.
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  • How does amplitude affect the loudness of a sound?

    Q: How does amplitude affect the loudness of a sound?

    A: Amplitude affects the loudness of sound by using vibration to make the sound larger or smaller than it is in actuality. Amplitude is a factor which directly impacts the sound.
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  • What is Snell's law of refraction?

    Q: What is Snell's law of refraction?

    A: Snell's law of refraction is the relationship between the angles of incidence and refraction with respect to the refraction indices of two different media. Snell's law of refraction can be applied to the refraction light for any two media. Snell's law predicts the angle of refraction that light follows when passing from one medium and into the next medium.
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  • 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.
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  • What is infrared used for?

    Q: What is infrared used for?

    A: Infrared is used for keeping things warm, reading information and checking heat. The uses for infrared technology are so diverse because infrared not only detects heat but produces heat in objects that it strikes.
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  • How does a kaleidoscope work?

    Q: How does a kaleidoscope work?

    A: A kaleidoscope works by reflecting light that bumps into a reflective surface such as a mirror. It has two or more mirrors placed at an angle to each other. The mirror assembly is surrounded by a case, with an eyehole at one end of the mirrors and a collection of objects at the other end.
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  • Where do ultraviolet rays come from?

    Q: Where do ultraviolet rays come from?

    A: Most of the ultraviolet rays that hit the Earth come from the sun. However, there are man-made items that give off ultraviolet rays, such as tanning beds, mercury vapor lamps and black lights.
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  • 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.
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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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  • Where does ultraviolet light come from?

    Q: Where does ultraviolet light come from?

    A: Ultraviolet light comes from the Sun. Earth's ozone layer absorbs most of the ultraviolet light before it reaches the surface, protecting humans and all other life forms from the harmful effects of these rays.
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  • How do X-rays work?

    Q: How do X-rays work?

    A: X-rays work by passing electromagnetic radiation through the body to create an image on film or on a digital device, thus providing diagnostic imaging. They are a part of the electromagnetic spectrum that includes visible light, ultraviolet light and infrared red heat. X-rays are shorter in wavelength than visible light and heat.
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  • What are the practical applications of refraction?

    Q: What are the practical applications of refraction?

    A: Refraction is the differential bending of light as it passes through a medium, and it is used in a wide variety of applications throughout industry and the sciences as well as in living bodies. Light refracted through an optical prism spreads out into a spectrum of its constituent colors and allows individual wavelengths to be examined on their own.
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • What are the uses for concave lenses and convex lenses?

    Q: What are the uses for concave lenses and convex lenses?

    A: Concave lenses are used for correcting myopia or short-sightedness. Convex lenses are used for focusing light rays to make items appear larger and clearer, such as with magnifying glasses.
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  • What does light passing through a transparent medium do?

    Q: What does light passing through a transparent medium do?

    A: When light passes through a transparent medium such as water or glass, the electrons slow down, which causes the light to refract. As light enters the transparent medium, the wavelength colors bend at different angles to create a rainbow. .
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