Human vision and function/Part 1: How the eye works/1.1 What is light?

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1.1 What is light[edit]

This topic introduces you to the concept of light and the visible electromagnetic spectrum. The theories of light behavior will be discussed and you will gain understanding as to why light is important for the visual system.

Task[edit]

Begin by watching this short group of Youtube videos:

Supplementary reading[edit]

To gain a deeper understanding of the concepts of light and the electromagnetic spectrum, wave theory and quantum theory of light follow this supplementary reading link

Revision questions[edit]

Discuss the answers to these questions on your group LMS forum.

  1. How can you best define “light”?
  2. Which wavelengths of light are visible to the human eye?
  3. Does the speed of light change depending on the wavelength it emits?
  4. What is the main difference between the wave theory of light compared with the quantum theory?
  5. When we look at a coloured object, for example a red apple, why does it appear red?
  6. What is refraction of light?
  7. Define constructive and destructive interference of waves
  8. What is the “photoelectric effect”?

Answers