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Light & Optics

Here you will find information on the intriguing properties and behavior of light, a form of energy that manifests in many diverse ways.
  1. Mathematics of Waves

Wave Particle Duality
We explore wave particle duality: the particle properties of waves and the wave properties of particles. What do these strange properties mean? How can we use them to understand physics?

What is a Photon?
A description of the photon and what it means.

Electromagnetic Spectrum of Light
The electromagnetic spectrum of light spans from radio waves to gamma rays, including that band of colors that we're most familiar with: visible light.

The Visible Light Spectrum
The visible light spectrum is the range of electromagnetic radiation that we are most familiar with. Here you can learn even more about it!

What is Quantum Optics?
Learn about quantum optics, the field of physics where the study of individual photons is crucial to understanding the nature of the behavior of electromagnetic waves as a whole.

Young's Double Slit Experiment
Learn about Young's Double Slit experiment, where interference patterns seem to prove the wave theory of light. But there's way more to this simple experiment than meets the eye. We'll explain the original experiment and its quantum mechanical permutations.

Doppler Effect in Light: Red Shift & Blue Shift
Learn about the manifestation of the Doppler effect from a moving light source and how the observed light exhibits either a red shift or blue shift to the wavelength and frequency.

Huygens' Principle
We explain Huygens' Principle of wave diffraction, which is applied in many experiments with sound and light.

The Photoelectric Effect
A description of the photoelectric effect and its significance, which includes crushing the classical wave theory of light, Einstein's first publication, Einstein's only Nobel Prize, and one of the major steps in developing quantum mechanics.

Optics for Kids
Optical Research Associates provides this nice outline of topics in optics that are appropriate for elementary age children, or for anyone who is curious about some of the fundamental concepts in optics.

Journal: Optics Express
This is "the international electronic journal of optics" offers free subscription services and search of their online archive of peer-reviewed papers.

PhotonicsConnection
This information hub for the optical engineering and photonics community is maintained by Tower Optical Corporation. It has some interesting information that may be of interest to those in the field, or even just interested in optics and photonic research.

Optics Overview
An overview of the field of optics, which is the study of how light behaves.

Is Invisibility Possible?
From H.G. Wells' Invisible Man to Star Trek's cloaking devices to Harry Potter's cloak of invisibility, the prospect of turning invisible has long been a part of popular culture. Now it appears some scientists may be close to turning the dream of invisibility into a reality ... sort of.

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