• Articles
  • Activities
  • Videos
  • Teacher PLD
  • Primary
  • Secondary
ARTICLE

Colours of light

Light is made up of wavelengths of light, and each wavelength is a particular colour. The colour we see is a result of which wavelengths are reflected back to our eyes. Visible light Visible ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

Refraction of light

Refraction is the bending of light (it also happens with sound, water and other waves) as it passes from one transparent substance into another. This bending by refraction makes it possible for ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

Reflection of light

Reflection is when light bounces off an object. If the surface is smooth and shiny, like glass, water or polished metal, the light will reflect at the same angle as it hit the surface. This is ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

Waves as energy transfer

‘Wave’ is a common term for a number of different ways in which energy is transferred: In electromagnetic waves, energy is transferred through vibrations of electric and magnetic fields. In sound ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

How the eye focuses light

The human eye is a sense organ adapted to allow vision by reacting to light. The cornea and the crystalline lens are both important for the eye to focus light. The eye focuses light in a similar ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

Melting and freezing

Water can exist as a solid (ice), liquid (water) or gas (vapour or gas). Adding heat can cause ice (a solid) to melt to form water (a liquid). Removing heat causes water (a liquid) to freeze to ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

Behaviour of waves

All waves behave in certain characteristic ways. They can undergo refraction, reflection, interference and diffraction. These basic properties define the behaviour of a wave – anything that ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

Light and telescopes

The universe is full of amazing things, but we need help to see most of them. There are many types of light that our eyes cannot see, so we use instruments, such as telescopes, that can detect ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

Light basics

Light is a form of energy produced by a light source. Light is made of photons that travel very fast. Photons of light behave like both waves and particles. Light sources Something that produces ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

Fundamentals of waves

Seeing, hearing, feeling warmth, surfing, tuning the radio, using a cellphone – these and many more activities involve waves. But what is a wave? In this article, we get to grips with the ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

Depth perception

Seeing with two eyes helps people to judge distances and to see in 3D, but even using one eye, there are many clues (often referred to as visual cues) to give people depth perception. Depth ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

Distances in space

Distances in space are really, really big. The Voyager 1 spacecraft is heading out of our Solar System at 62,000 km per hour, but even at that speed, it would take it 77,000 years to reach the ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

Light ideas and technology – timeline

This timeline provides a look at some of the key advances in ideas about light, how we see and how we perceive the world around us. 400 BC - Emission theory of vision Greek philosopher and ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

Measuring instruments

Collecting data is a crucial part of scientific inquiry. To study waves and the ocean sea level, scientists usually gather data through the use of instruments. They collect information about the ...

READ MORE
STAR
ACTIVITY

Pinhole cameras and eyes

In this activity, students make a pinhole camera and see images formed on an internal screen. They then use a lens and see brighter and sharper images. This models the human eye. By the end of ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

The Sun and white dwarfs

Professor Denis Sullivan studies white dwarfs – small and dense stars that are cooling down after being red giants. Our Sun, and most other stars, will eventually become a white dwarf. The life ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

Light and sight – introduction

If there is no light, there is no sight – explore our resources and learn more about the basics of light, how we see and how we perceive the world around us. The research work of three scientists ...

READ MORE
STAR
ARTICLE

Comparing tsunamis and surf

So you want to surf a tsunami? In this article, you’ll learn why that’s not possible – and how dangerous it would be to try. Tsunamis have much more energy than a surf wave, so they last for ...

READ MORE
STAR
ACTIVITY

Investigating refraction and spearfishing

In this activity, students aim spears at a model of a fish in a container of water. When they move their spears towards the fish, they miss! This activity investigates refraction. By the end of ...

READ MORE
STAR
ACTIVITY

Similarities and differences: tsunamis and surf waves

In this activity, students use an interactive or paper-based Venn diagram to illustrate the key similarities and differences between tsunami waves and surf waves. By the end of this activity ...

READ MORE
STAR
ACTIVITY

Investigating reflection

In this activity, students investigate specular and diffuse reflection by looking into a dark box and shining a torch at various objects, coloured paper and a mirror. By the end of this activity ...

READ MORE
STAR