Light

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LIGHT: A FUNDAMENTAL FORCE IN OUR WORLD

If asked what light is, one could say that it's one of the most basic

elements of our world and our universe as we perceive it. It is through

sight that we receive 90% of our information. It is through the use of

telescopes aiding the naked eye that we are aware of the heavenly bodies

around us. It is through light that the energy from the sun is transferred

to us. The sun's energy supports the food chain; plants use it to turn

water and CO2 into energy usable by other organisms. Solar energy was also

used, indirectly, to produce all of the fossil fuels that we consume daily.

Since light is such a basic part of our existence, we should have a basic

understanding of what it is.

What we call light, the intangible, powerful force that powers our world,

is somewhat hard to define in real terms. It shares properties with both

particles and waves. It follows the same rules as a wave does--it moves in

a regular fashion, in a perfect sine wave at a certain frequency. It

travels in a straight line, and is subject to refraction. All of these

characteristics are found in waves of any type, from radio frequency waves,

up to Gamma and X- rays. Light, however, also exhibits qualities

characteristic of particles such as neutrons and protons. A photon, or

quanta, is the "packet" of energy that is sent in a light wave. Like a

particle, the photon is believed to have a fi...

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