Reflection and refraction are two of the ways light interacts with matter, with absorption being the third. Reflection occurs when incoming light is bounced off of a surface. Reflection can be either coherent, as it is with a mirror, or incoherent as when light reflects off of a white surface. Refraction entails the slowing and bending of light as it moves through a medium.Know More
The degree to which a surface reflects light is a measurable quality called albedo. The higher the albedo, the more incoming light the surface is able to reflect. Surfaces with low albedo usually absorb incoming light rather than reflect or refract it.
Refraction occurs as light transitions from one medium, such as air, to another such as glass or water. As they pass through the transparent substance, waves of light slow down or speed up depending on the density of the new medium. The various wavelengths of white light each slow at a different rate, which bends some wavelengths more than others. The result of this is that light passing through droplets of water suspended in a cloud or a glass prism in a laboratory can spread out into its constituent colors and form a rainbow.Learn more in Optics & Waves
Sound cannot travel through a vacuum or in outer space because time is a vibration of matter. Sound can generally travel through any material, including water and steel.Full Answer >
Electromagnetic waves carry electromagnetic energy, also known as electromagnetic radiation, through matter, empty space, momentum and angular momentum. Depending on their frequency and wavelength, electromagnetic waves create different types of phenomena, including visible light, infrared radiation, ultraviolet radiation, radio waves, gamma rays, x-rays and microwaves.Full Answer >
Light interacts with matter through absorption, transmission and reflection. When light strikes the leaf of a plant, the leaf absorbs the light energy, and through the process of photosynthesis, transforms the energy into the food glucose. The leaf reflects the green wavelengths of visible light, giving it the green color.Full Answer >
Light travels at a considerably higher speed than sound. Light travels at a constant speed of 186,000 miles per second, but the speed of sound is only 761.2 mph.Full Answer >