Light - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Mathematics

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 4 pages of information about Light.
This section contains 1,050 words
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Speed of Light

Light travels through empty space at a high speed, very close to 300,000 kilometers per second (km/s). This number is a universal constant: it never changes. Since all measurements of the speed of light in a vacuum always produce exactly the same answer, the distance light travels in a certain amount of time is now defined as the standard unit of length. For convenience, the speed of light is usually written as the symbol, c.

Characteristics of Waves

All waves, including light waves, share certain characteristics: They travel through space at a certain speed, they have frequency, and they have wavelength. The frequency of a wave is the number of waves that pass a point in one second. The wavelength of a wave is the distance between any two corresponding points on the wave. There is a simple mathematical relationship between these three quantities called the...

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This section contains 1,050 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Light Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan Science Library: Mathematics
Light from Macmillan Science Library: Mathematics. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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