Coupon Accepted Successfully!


Nature of Light

Light is a form of energy which produces the sensation of vision. Several theories have been proposed right from the days of Aristotle, Plato and others to explain the nature of light based on different phenomena exhibited by light.

Newton’s Corpuscular Theory
According to this theory, light is considered to be a stream of very minute particles called corpuscles. They are shot out from every point of a luminous body with a high speed. This theory successfully explains the rectilinear propagation and reflection of light but fails to explain refraction and interference.
Huygens’ Wave Theory
According to this theory, every point of a luminous body is a source of disturbance which sends light waves in all directions. For the propagation of these waves, Huygens assumed the existence of a hypothetical medium called ether, filling the entire Universe! Though this theory could explain many phenomena such as reflection, refraction interference, etc., the other medium itself could not be detected by sensitive experiments.
Maxwell’s Electromagnetic Theory
According to this theory, light consists of electric and magnetic fields, oscillating mutually perpendicular to each other. This theory explained reflection, refraction, interference, diffraction, polarisation but could not explain photoelectric effect, Compton effect and Raman effect.
Max Planck’s Quantum Theory
According to Max Planck, light is a stream of discrete energy packets called quanta or photons. Rest mass of a photon is zero and energy of each photon is E = hγ, where h = 6.625 × 10–34 J s is the Planck’s constant and γ is the frequency of radiation.
This theory explained the photoelectric effect, Raman effect and Compton effect but fails to explain interference, diffraction and polarisation.

Test Your Skills Now!
Take a Quiz now
Reviewer Name