light: The Nature of Light

The Nature of Light

The scientific study of the behavior of light is called optics and covers reflection of light by a mirror or other object, refraction by a lens or prism, diffraction of light as it passes by the edge of an opaque object, and interference patterns resulting from diffraction. Also studied is the polarization of light. Any successful theory of the nature of light must be able to explain these and other optical phenomena.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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