Category Archives: Light

The Wave-Particle Duality of Light

In common perception, most things in our universe fall into two fundamental categories: energy and matter. Energy could be electricity, heat, sound waves, or kinetic motion. Matter is generally a descriptor of things made up from atoms, such as planets or stars or humans ourselves. However, looking at these on a more fundamental level, the […] Continue reading

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Blog Post 2 – The Doppler Effect

Most people have already heard of the Doppler Effect, an interesting phenomena of sound that alters the pitch of moving objects depending on their direction. The Doppler Effect functions similarly by affecting the shifts of light wavelengths. When, for example, a planet is moving toward us, its light waves will be clumped together and appear […] Continue reading

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Why the Speed of Light May Not Be Constant

Source: Speed of Light Properties Explained One of the biggest current paradigms in the science of astronomy is the certainty that the speed of light is constant in a vacuum. However, new research shows that this might not entirely be accurate which could have massive consequences for cosmology. Thanks to the use of lasers here on […] Continue reading

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The polarization of light

Light waves travel through electric and magnetic fields that vibrate perpendicular from each other. As an electromagnetic wave, like all waves, light’s vibration has a direction along with its frequency and wavelength. We often imagine waves moving up and down vertically, like a wave on the shore, but this is not always the case. Specifically, […] Continue reading

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Gravitational Lensing!

In class, we’ve been diving into the world of gravity and light. We have covered Newton’s laws of motion and the effects of gravity in our universe. As well, we’ve explored how light behaves and travels through space. Now I want to introduce another intriguing topic that combines the two –gravitational lensing! Gravitational lensing occurs […] Continue reading

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Post 1

Like other electromagnetic particles, light has a specific velocity at which it travels. Further, it is presumed to be the fastest theoretical speed of any particle. The speed of light–referred to as “c” in a vacuum–is roughly 300,000,000 m/s. Since it moves so fast, most people never observe light as a moving particle or something […] Continue reading

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The Ultimate Race

We take it for granted that the speed of light is the universal speed limit; nothing can go faster than light. The knowledge of light-years is crucial to understanding the images that we see in the night sky. These images are not of the celestial bodies as they currently exist, but as they once were, […] Continue reading

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The myth of travelling at Light Speed

3*10^8 m/s. Wow. It’s practically impossible to conceptualize something moving 300 thousand Kilometers every single second, but believe it or not photons are doing this as we speak. To put this blistering pace into perspective, the distance from the North Pole to the South Pole is about 20,000 kilometers. Not even close to the length […] Continue reading

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Light: Dangerously Fast?

Gamma Ray Burst Close-Up Credit: NASA/Swift/Mary Pat Hrybyk-Keith and John Jones The Image above is an artists rendition of a phenomena known as a Gamma Ray Burst (GRB), where a star can project massive amounts of dangerous high energy light across the Cosmos. GRB’s are bit outside the scope of our solar system, so I […] Continue reading

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Achieving Light Speed: Curvature Propulsion

Space curvature propulsion is a theoretical idea that has been explored through science fiction (including Cixin Liu’s Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy) as method of allowing ships to travel through space at or beyond the speed of light. While this idea currently resides firmly in the realm of science fiction, the theoretical basis is rooted […] Continue reading

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