Light is everywhere in our world. We need it to see. It carries information from the world to our eyes and brains.
Light is a form of energy. Light energy can be changed into heat, electricity and other forms of energy. Light travels in a straight line and can't go around corners. The fastest possible speed anything can have is the speed of light. Nothing can travel faster. Light travels 186,000 miles a second. It takes less than two seconds for light to reach us from the moon. The distance that light travels in one year is called a light year. The nearest star is 4.2 light-years away.
Here are some things to think about:
Scientists have spent lifetimes developing consistent physical, biological, chemical, and mathematical explanations for these principles. But we can start on the road to deeper understanding without all the equations by acting as scientists do: making observations, performing experiments, and testing our conjectures against what we see.
The activities are designed to give you ideas about lightand also about how you can use technology to explore light. Collectively, the activities are a samplerrather than comprehensive demonstrationof these two topics:
In this lab, you will work with simulations to see things more quickly and conveniently. This has merit, but it's no substitute for the real thing. So, wherever possible, follow the links to hands-on activities. You will find many of these explanations in their original form at the Exploratorium.
Read more about light.
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