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electromagnetic waves

transverse waves consisting of changing electric fields and changing magnetic fields

electric field

a region of space exerts forces on charged particles

magnetic field

a region of space produces magnetic forces

electromagnetic radiation

the transfer of energy by electromagnetic waves traveling through matter of across space

photoelectric effect

the emission of electrons from a metal caused by light striking the metal


packets of electromagnetic energy


the rate at which a wave's energy flows through a given unit

electromagnetic spectrum

the full range of frequencies of electromagnetic radiation

amplitude modulation

the amplitude of the wave is varied

frequency modulation

the frequency of the wave is varied


Color-coded pictures that show variations in temperature


a material that transmits light and allows most of the light that strikes it to pass through it


a material that scatters light


a material that either absorbs or reflects all of the light that strikes it


a copy of an object formed by reflected or refracted waves of light

regular reflection

occurs when parallel light waves strike a surface and reflect all in the same direction

diffuse reflection

occurs when parallel light waves strike a rough, uneven surface and reflect in many directions


a false or distorted image

polarized light

light waves that vibrate in only one plane


when light is redirected as it passes through a medium


the process in which white light seperates into colors

primary colors

three specific colors that can be combined in varying amounts to create all possible colors

secondary color

light that is a combination of two primary colors

complementary colors of light

any two colors of light that combine to form white light


a material that absorbs some colors of light and reflects other colors

complementary colors of pigment

any two colors of pigments that combine to make black pigment


objects that give off their own light


the light produced when an object gets hot enough to glow


a material absorbs light at one wavelength and then emits light at a longer wavelength


a solid material that can emit light by flourescence


a device that generates a beam of coherent light

coherent light

light in which waves have the same wavelength, and the crests and troughs are lined up

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