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All About Light
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Thank's For Visiting Fermilab's Web Pages About Light

This page concludes your light tour. On the previous 34 pages you learned the basic but the most important properties of light. We have sorted our information into three categories. Below are the key points from this light tour

  1. Light from the classical point of view
    • Maxwell was The Man. He unified electromagnetic phenomena with his equations
    • Light is an electromagnetic wave
    • We describe EM waves by their frequencies
    • Visible light is just a tiny fraction of the whole EM spectrum
    • Speed of light depends on the medium the light propagates in.
    • In matter particles can travel faster then the speed of light
  2. Light and the theory of relativity
    • Einstein was The Man. He wrote the theory of relativity
    • In a vacuum, light propagates with the highest possible speed in the universe
    • In the theory of relativity, two speeds do not simply add up; therefore it is not true that 1+1 is 2!
    • Any moving object gains mass
    • Any moving object ages more slowly than a stationary one
    • It is possible that a red light was emitted but a green light was received
    • Simultaneity of events depends on the frame of reference
    • Any moving object is contracted in the forward direction
    • If you found an object moving at a speed greater than 299,792,458 m/s check your instruments, something is wrong
  3. Light in the quantum world
    • Planck was The Man. He solved the black-body radiation problem
    • Light consists of a bunch of particles called photons
    • Our world is dual; everything behaves as both a particle and a wave.
    • We have plenty of photons at Fermilab :-))

Please send us your comments for future improvements.

The author of these pages of light Arnold Pompos thanks Sharon Butler for her great help.

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last modified 1/5/2001   email Fermilab