Types of Light Energy

Light energy is the only visible form of energy. Lots of things about light energy are discussed here. To know more about light energy, click here

Types of Light Energy

Light energy is the only visible form of energy

Light is a form of energy which our sense of sight can detect. It is made of electro-magnetic radiation and travels in a straight path. In everyday we use the word “light” for at least 10 times a day!! Have you ever think about the energy we get from the light. Light is all around us. It has the ability to tan or burn our skins, it can be harnessed to melt metals, or heat our food. Light energy posed a huge challenge for scientist up to the 1950′s.

For our purposes we will use light to mean all of the frequencies of radiation, known as the electromagnetic spectrum or EMS. Light is always in motion and cannot be stored, so it is a kinetic type of energy.

You might say that light is essentially “pure” energy, since it theoretically has no mass. Light is simultaneously a wave and a particle. The higher the frequency, the more energy the light or electromagnetic radiation contains. The greater the frequency, the more energy each particle, called the photon.

Light energy Definition

  • Light energy refers to the electromagnetic energy that is visible to the human eye.

  • Light energy is energy that travels in straight lines called rays that fan outward from the source of the light?

  • Light energy is made of electro-magnetic radiation and travels in a straight path.

Important terms in light energy

  • The speed of light energy is the speed at which light travels. It is about 300,000 kilometres per second. Nothing travels faster than light.
  • There are different colours of light because they are light waves which have different wavelengths. Red light has the longest wavelength while violet light has the shortest wavelength.
  • Red, green and blue are the primary colours of light. Mixing them in various ways will make all other colours, including white.
  • The bouncing back of light waves when they hit an object with a very smooth and shiny surface, like a mirror, is called reflection.
  • The bending of light as it passes from one transparent substance to another, like air to water, is called refraction.
  • When sunlight is intercepted by a drop of water in the atmosphere, some of the light refracts into the drop, reflects from the drop’s inner surface, and then refracts out of the drop. The first refraction separates the sunlight into its component colours, and the second refraction increases the separation. The result is a rainbow.

Sources of light energy

Light energy comes from many different sources, both natural and artificial. The Sun is the most important natural light source. Artificial sources of light are created by people.

  • Objects that emit their own light are said to be luminous. The Sun is luminous; a burning candle is luminous.

  • Objects that do not emit light, but only reflect light from other sources, are said to be non luminous.

Interesting facts about light energy:

  • Light travels at a speed of about 300,000 km/s.

  • During photosynthesis, plants use light energy to create chemical energy.

  • UV lights are often used by forensic scientists to see details that are not seen by the naked eye.

  • Although humans cannot see UV light, some insects have the ability to see it

  • The speed of light changes when travelling through different objects.

More Interesting facts about light energy (cont)

  • Light is a type of electromagnetic energy.

  • Light is made of tiny photons which contain lots of energy.

  • The intensity of photons is dependent upon the amount of energy they contain.

  • Light energy is always moving and can therefore not be stored.

  • The reason we see different colors of light is because each color has a different wavelength.

Other types of Light Energy