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Light Waves

Light Waves

Author: Amanda Soderlind

This lesson will introduce light waves and describe how a particle can travel as a photon or a wave.

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Light is what allows us to see colors. Without light we would not be able to see the colors around us. Visible light is a type of electromagnetic radiation that we can see. Remember, most waves need a medium to be able to travel. Sound waves travel through air and ocean waves travel through the water. Light do not need a medium. Light is also different from other waves in the fact that it is considered to be both a particle and a wave.  A photon is a particle of light energy and the wave properties of light are linked to the behavior of the photons. The diagram below shows what the wavelength of visible light is like compared to the wavelength of other waves in the electromagnetic spectrum. In addition, each color in the electromagnetic spectrum has a different wavelength.