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CHAPTER 7 LIGHT Vocabulary

blackbody radiation (p. 184) - electromagnetic radiation emitted by an ideal material


(the blackbody) that perfectly absorbs and perfectly emits radiation

diffraction (p. 196) - the bending of light around the edge of an opaque object

incandescent (p. 184) - matter emitting visible light as a result of high temperature; for
example, a light bulb, a flame from any burning source, and the sun are all
incandescent sources because of high temperature

index of refraction (p. 190) - the ratio of the speed of light in a vacuum to the speed of
light in a material

interference (p. 197) - phenomenon of light where the relative phase difference
between two light waves produces light or dark spots, a result of light’s wavelike nature

light ray model (p. 186) - model using lines to show the direction of motion of light to
describe the travels of light

luminous (p. 184) - an object or objects that produce visible light; for example, the sun,
stars, light bulbs, and burning materials are all luminous

photoelectric effect (p. 199) - the movement of electrons in some materials as a result
of energy acquired from absorbed light

photons (p. 200) - a quantum of energy in a light wave; the particle associated with
light

polarized (p. 198) - light whose constituent transverse waves are all vibrating in the
same plane; also known as plane-polarized light

quanta (p. 200) - fixed amounts; usually referring to fixed amounts of energy absorbed
or emitted by matter ("quanta" is plural and "quantum" is singular)

real image (p. 188) - an image generated by a lens or mirror that can be projected onto
a screen

refraction (p. 189) - a change in the direction of travel of light, sound, or other waves
crossing a boundary

total internal reflection (p. 190) - condition where all light is reflected back from a
boundary between materials; occurs when light arrives at a boundary at the critical
angle or beyond
unpolarized light (p. 198) - light consisting of transverse waves vibrating in all
conceivable random directions

virtual image (p. 188) - an image where light rays appear to originate from a mirror or
lens; this image cannot be projected on a screen