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What are some facts about light energy?

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Quick Answer

One fact about light energy is that plants use light to create chemical energy in a process called photosynthesis. Other facts are light is a type of electromagnetic energy, and light energy can be converted into other forms of energy.

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Full Answer

Electromagnetic energy, also called electromagnetic radiation, is the flow of photons through space. Photons are the quanta of light, which means they are the smallest possible unit of light. Photons always move at the speed of light, which is approximately 186,000 miles per second. Electromagnetic radiation moves in a wave pattern and exists in a spectrum of different types of energy that correspond to different wavelengths. One of the wavelengths is called visible light because it consists of all the colors visible to humans. The other wavelengths of electromagnetic energy correspond to other types of energy, such as radio waves, microwaves, X-rays and gamma rays.

There are also colors in the light spectrum that are not visible to humans, but are to some animals. These are infrared and ultraviolet light. One animal that is capable of seeing ultraviolet light is the mantis shrimp. The mantis shrimp has one of the most complex optical systems of any known life form. Its eyes have 16 types of color-receptive cells, while human eyes only have three.

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