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Light Energy

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created for 5th grade science classroom

created for 5th grade science classroom


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  • 1. Light Energy Vocabulary Notes
  • 2. Light Energy • Light energy is electromagnetic radiation. This means it is a combination of electrical energy and magnetic energy. • Light energy is given off by electrons in an object. • Light moves in waves. • All light energy is in a spectrum that includes waves with different frequencies and wavelengths. • The light we see is only a tiny part of that
  • 3. Absorption • Absorption of light occurs when an object does not reflect or transmit the light. • Black objects absorb all light and white objects absorb no light. • Whatever color or wavelength of light is absorbed, the opposite color is relfected. – Ex: An object that appears red is absorbing blue and green wavelengths.
  • 4. Reflection • Reflection is when light bounces off an object. • Mirrors show reflection very well. • Again, an object that appears red is absorbing the blue and green wave lengths but is reflecting the red.
  • 5. Transmission • The process in which light travels through a medium without being absorbed or scattered. • Light goes straight through the material.
  • 6. Refraction • Refraction is the bending of light waves as they pass from one substance to another. • Light rays may bend as they move from one substance to another. • An illusion is created when light rays go from air into water and “bends” the pencil. • If light is transmitted “head-on” the direction does not change (no refraction). • If the light strikes at an angle it is
  • 7. Scattering • Scattering of light is caused by light bouncing off an object in a bunch of different directions. • Scattering is caused by differences present in materials, which the light is striking. • This includes bubbles, droplets, surface roughness, and textile fibers in clothing. • This is what causes the sky to be blue.
  • 8. The halo The sun is is from in the light middle of scattering the halo. in the ice crystals that make the cloud.
  • 9. Transparent • Sometimes when light strikes matter, almost all the light gets through. – T r a n s p a r e n t materials allow light to pass through with almost no disturbance. – It may or may not color the light but you can clearly see objects through them. – Ex: glass
  • 10. You can see straight through the glass window.
  • 11. Translucent • Sometimes only some light gets through – T r a n s lu c e n t materials allow only part of the light to pass through, while also bouncing it in many new directions. – It gives you a blurry view but lets in light. – Example: a frosted glass door (like a shower door)
  • 12. You can see through the frosted glass but the image is blurry.
  • 13. Opaque • Sometimes no light gets through. – O p a q u e materials completely block light from passing. – Example: dark colored cardstock paper
  • 14. You cannot see through the glass plates and bowl.