The Characteristics of Light - 2

characteristics of light

Here, the journey continues. I hope you have already ridden the first part, and if not, visit now; here is the link: characteristics of light - 1.

Now we know what light is and its nature as both particle and wave. In light part 1, we have covered all the possible nature of light, and we have seen its electromagnetic spectrum, and in this blog, we will learn about the properties of light as a wave. Light has seven basic properties listed below; all these properties have different characteristics, and we will study them one by one.

7 fundamental properties of light

1. Reflection of light

Reflection of light is the change in the direction of a wave due to a change in its velocity. The reflection, also known as backscattering or secondary emission, is an example of wave-particle duality.

If you shine a light through something like water or glass, some of it will be reflected at you again. We need to look at how waves work to understand why this happens.

2. Refraction of light

refraction of light

Once the light has entered the second medium, it will travel in a different direction and at a different speed. The law of refraction explains how this happens:
Light enters the water from air or glass and travels much more slowly because water is denser than air (and thus slower to flow).
When light enters glass from air or water, however, it travels at nearly the same speed as in its original medium due to “diffusion.”

3. Diffraction of light

Diffraction is the bending of waves around obstacles. Diffraction is caused by the wave nature of light and can be used to split a beam of white light into its component colours, which are then reassembled again at another location.

The most common diffraction form is Interference between two beams reflected from a boundary. For example, imagine you have two beams going in opposite directions on either side of an opening in a wall (see Figure 1). The lower beam will bounce off both surfaces before being reflected up towards your eye; however, only one ray will pass through this opening because it has more energy than any other incoming rays combined with it” it is like shooting bullets at someone who has just pulled out his gun!

4. Interference of light

Light is a transverse wave that travels through space in a straight line. When two waves of light pass through each other, they interfere with each other and produce new light with characteristics of the original waves. This phenomenon is called Interference, and it’s one of the primary ways we measure the properties of light” we can use it to create images like this one.

5. Polarization of light

polarization of light

The wave theory of light is a classical description of how light behaves. It was first proposed by French physicist Augustin-Jean Fresnel, who postulated that the propagation speed of visible light waves was around 1500 meters per second (about 5300 miles per hour) and that these waves could be polarized. This idea was later modified to be more accurate. His colleague Jean Alexandre Foucault showed that specific rotating systems produce rotation or vibration in the plane perpendicular to their axis.

Foucault’s theory is a generalization of the Young “Laplace wave model, which considers any possible excitation, such as Raman scattering and self-consistent field theories.

6. Dispersion of light

dispersion of light

Dispersion of light is the separation of a light beam into its component wavelengths. It occurs when the phase velocity of light passing through matter differs from that of an ideal wave. This can be caused by interaction with a medium, such as glass or water, or interaction with some form of Interference (such as when waves pass through an optical cavity).

7. Scattering of light

Light can be examined entirely from its source. When light passes from one medium to another, water to a glass. An amount of the light is absorbed by particles of the medium, leading up to its subsequent radiation in a particular viewpoint. This property of light is known as a scattering. The scattering intensity depends on the particles’ size and the light’s wavelength. The shorter the wavelength, the higher the intensity since it is inversely proportional to the fourth power of the wavelength.

Light also behaves differently as a particle, which can be seen in the photoelectric effect, which leads us to know about the energy of light. If you want to know about light as a particle, then visit the Energy of the light


In a nutshell, light behaves like both wave and particle, and it has more spectrums(colours) than a human eye can see this we have covered in characteristics of light - 1 and in this blog, we have covered all the properties: reflection, refraction, polarization, Interference, diffraction, scattering and dispersion. Although we are left with the properties of light as a particle which you can see in the energy of the light.


How is reflection of light?

Reflection of light is the change in the direction of a wave due to a change in its velocity.

What is diffraction of light?

Diffraction is the bending of waves around obstacles. Diffraction is caused by the wave nature of light

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About the Author

Aman Singh is a student and a professional blogger from India. He love to help students and people by his blogs.

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