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Light and Optics Vocabulary
Terms in this set (70)
The form of energy we can see.
Natural Light Source
A non-human made source of light, such as the sun.
To send out energy in the form of waves or rays.
The transfer of radiant energy, such as light.
Energy transferred or emitted as waves or rays in all directions.
Artificial Light Source
A human made source of light.
An object that can be heated to such a high temperature that it emits visible light.
The emission of visible light by a hot object.
The process in which high-energy, invisible ultraviolet light is absorbed by the particles of an object, which then emits some of this energy as visible light, causing the object to glow.
The persistent emission of light following exposure to and removal of a source of radiation.
The emission of light resulting from chemical action and not involving heat.
The emission of light produced by chemical reactions inside the bodies of light creatures.
Giving off its own light.
A substance that does not give off its own light.
A model of light based on the observation that light travels in a straight line.
A single line or narrow beam of light that originates from a light source and that may bounce off a surface that it strikes.
A representation of the path of light by using a straight line with an arrow.
Allowing light to pass through.
Allowing some light to pass through. The light, however is scattered from its straight path.
Not allowing any light to pass through.
The casting back of light from a surface.
A reference line drawn perpendicular to a reflecting surface at the same point where an incident ray strikes the surface.
Angle of Incidence
In optics, the angle between the incident ray and the normal.
Angle of Reflection
In optics, the angle between the normal and the reflected ray.
A mirror having a flat surface.
Law of Reflection
The two main predictable behaviours of reflected light:
1. The angle of reflection is equal to the angle of incidence
2. The incident ray, the normal and the reflected ray are always in the same plane
An image located where reflected rays only seem to originate.
The bending of light when it travels from one medium (materials) to another.
Angle of Refraction
In optics, the angle between the normal and refracted ray.
A curved piece of transparent material, usually glass or plastic. Light rays bend as they pass through the lens.
A lens that is thinner and flatter in the middle than around the edges; causes refracting light to diverge.
A lens that is thicker in the middle than around the edges; causing refracted light to converge.
To bring (ray of light) to a point; for example, a concave mirror or a convex lens focuses light rays.
A light-sensitive area at the back of the eye.
Unable to see distant objects clearly.
Unable to see close objects clearly.
In vision, the process of changing the shape of the lens (in the eye) to adjust from different distances from an object being viewed.
The shortest distance at which an object is in focus.
The greatest distance at which an objects is in focus.
The opening in the diaphragm of a camera; can let more light reach the film by opening wider.
In a camera or microscope, a device that controls the amount of light that enters.
In a camera, a device that opens the aperture to allow light to reach the film; can let more light reach the film by staying open.
In the eye, the coloured ring; works like a diaphragm of a camera.
The opening in the eye; appears as the dark centre of the eye
The natural adjustment in the eye's pupil size in response to varying light levels.
The nerve that connects the eye to the brain.
The point where the optic nerve enters the retina; has no light-sensing cells.
A telescope having a convex lens to collect and focus light from a distant object, and an eyepiece lens to magnify the image.
A convex lens in a refracting telescope or microscope.
A telescope having a concave mirror to collect rays of light from a distant object.
The mirror in a reflecting telescope; also called the primary mirror.
In binoculars, glass blocks serving as plane mirrors, allow binoculars to be made shorter than telescopes.
The low pare of a wave between crests.
The high part of a wave.
The distance from crest to crest, or from trough to trough, of wave of light as it travels through space.
In a wave, the height of the crest or the depth of the trough.
The number of entire cycles completed by a vibrating object in a unit of time; usually given in cycles per second, or hertz.
Wave Model of Light
A way of explaining the behaviour of light; involves picturing it traveling as a wave.
Referring to light, having many different wavelengths or one wavelength but the waves are not lined up.
Referring to light, having only one wavelength, with all waves lined up in similar pattern (e.g. laser light).
The arrangement by wavelength of the different forms of electromagnetic radiation, including visible light energy.
Heat radiation; anything that is warmer than its surrounding emits infrared rays.
Any electromagnetic wave that is useful for carrying sounds or pictures through the air from a transmitter to a receiver.
A radio wave having a short wavelength and high frequency; used in microwave ovens; telecommunications satellites and other applications.
Wave lengths of 200nm beyond violet light in the electromagnetic spectrum (nm=nanometer) causes tanning.
A "blanket" of ozone ( a form of oxygen) surrounding Earth about 20-25km above the ground; acts like a filter, absorbing much of the Sun's ultraviolet light.
Electromagnetic radiation having a very short wavelength; can penetrate substances such as skin and muscle.
The use of gamma rays to destroy cancer cells.
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