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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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Positive and negative effects of UV

The Earth’s atmosphere blocks most of the Sun’s UV radiation from penetrating through the atmosphere. The small amount that gets through has both positive and negative effects. Positive ...

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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 ...

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Uses for UV

There are a variety of ways we put ultraviolet (UV) radiation to good use. Our skin and UV When we expose our skin to UVB, it stimulates the production of vitamin D, which our bodies need. Window ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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Vitamin D and UV

Vitamin D plays an important role in our bodies: It improves general health. It promotes the formation and strengthening of bones (a deficiency will cause bone softening diseases, which then ...

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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 ...

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ARTICLE

UV and fluorescence

Have you ever looked at fish in a tropical aquarium? Some of them seem to have markings or patches of colour that ‘glow’ more vividly than what you would expect. Those markings are fluorescent ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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Light and sight – question bank

An inquiry approach is a method often used in science education. The question bank provides an initial list of questions about our resources looking at light and sight and highlights where their ...

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What is UV?

Ultraviolet (UV) light is part of a family of radiations called the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum. UV is just beyond the violet end of visible light and has smaller wavelengths and greater ...

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UV and curing

Electromagnetic radiation can act both as a series of waves and as a stream of particles that are called photons. Shorter wavelength photons have greater energy than longer wavelength ones. UV ...

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Skin structure

The epidermis is the thin layer at the surface that varies in thickness from 0.05 mm on the eyelids to 1.5 mm on the palms of the feet. The top of the epidermis is called the cornified layer, and ...

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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 ...

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ACTIVITY

Make a printed circuit board

In this activity, students make a printed circuit board photographically by shining UVA light through a negative artwork mask to cure and harden a thin coating of UV-sensitive material that ...

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