Light is created when electrons orbiting an atom become energized to move into a higher orbit, and then drop down to a lower orbit, releasing a small amount of energy in the process. This energy is called a photon, which is the fundamental particle of light.Know More
Electrons are negatively charged particles which orbit the nucleus of an atom. Each electron has a natural orbit, but if given extra energy, an electron can move into an orbit further away from the nucleus. The orbits of each atom are fixed, but an electron can move between them.
When an electron drops from a high energy orbit to a lower energy one, there is now an excess amount of energy. This energy can't just disappear, so it is emitted as a photon of light. The energy of the photon depends on the difference in energy between the two orbits of the electron.
An example of this type of light creation can be seen in neon signs. Electric currents provide energy to the electrons of neon atoms and move them into a higher orbit. When the electrons drop down again, light of a very specific frequency is emitted, giving neon lights their purple color.Learn more about Optics & Waves
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.Full Answer >
Polarized light can be identified by light waves aligned parallel to one another. Light is polarized when it is reflected from a transparent material-like glass or when it is scattered by particles suspended in the atmosphere.Full Answer >
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.Full Answer >
Light manifests properties of both a particle and a wave, depending on the nature of the measuring apparatus used. Albert Einstein's photoelectric effect, explained in 1905, highlights the particle nature of light in terms of frequency and intensity of electron emissions. The wave nature is evident in large-scale applications.Full Answer >