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We are able to enjoy everything around us only with the help of light. Light makes everything visible to us. The bottom line is: without light, there would be no sight. If you were to turn off the lights in a room for a moment and then cover all the windows with black paper to prevent any entry of light into the room, then you may notice that nothing in the room is visible. Though the eyes are capable of detecting the objects and the brain is capable of deciphering the information sent to it, they will not be able to do so, because of the absence of light.

When a room full of objects (or a table, a shirt or a sky) looks black, then the objects are neither generating nor reflecting light to the eyes. And without light, there would be no sight. During the day sunlight helps us to see objects. An object reflects light that falls on it. This reflected light, when received by our eyes enables us to see things. The sun is the main source of light. Objects like the sun, lamp, candle, etc., which emit their own light are called luminous objects. Non-luminous objects do not emit their own light but are capable of reflecting the light falling on them. Glass, mirror and wall are examples of non-luminous objects. There are so many wonderful phenomenon associated with light.

  • Image formation by Mirrors
  • Twinkling of Stars
  • Formation of a Rainbow
  • Bending of Light by a Medium or Obstacle and so on.

By observing these phenomena, we may conclude that light appears to travel in straight lines. Is this statement more conclusive? Suppose if there is an opaque object in the path of the light, how will light travel? Actually it bends around the object or adjusts itself around the object. This phenomenon is called Diffraction. We can conclude that light will not follow the path of a straight line. To explain a phenomenon like diffraction, light can be considered as a wave. A theory, which supports the wave nature of light, is called as wave theory. At the beginning of the 20th century, physicists found that wave theory is inadequate to explain the nature of light, since some experiments show that light behaves as a stream of particles. According to Quantum Theory, light is neither a ‘wave’ nor a ‘particle’. Light has a Dual Nature.

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