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Light
Stop Faking It!
Strand: Force, Motion, and
Energy

SOL 5.3 The student will investigate and
understand basic characteristics of white
light. Key concepts include:



The visible spectrum, light waves, reflection, refraction,
diffraction, opaque, transparent, translucent;
Optical tools (eyeglasses, lenses, flashlight, camera,
kaleidoscope, binoculars, microscope light boxes,
telescope, prism, spectroscope, mirrors); and
Historical contributions in light
Essential Knowledge, Skills, and
Processes
Explain the relationships between
wavelength and the color of light. Name
the colors of the visible spectrum.
 ROYGBIV

Vocabulary

Visible spectrum (visible light): a
combination of several different
wavelengths of light traveling together. It is
part of the Electromagnetic Spectrum.
Essential Knowledge, Skills, and
Processes

Diagram and label a representation of a
light wave (wavelength, peak, trough)
Vocabulary





Waves: a disturbance which carries energy and
that travels away from the starting point.
Wavelength: the distance between one crest of a
wave and the next crest (distance between
compressions); red is longest and violet is shortest
Peak: the highest point of a light wave
Trough: the lowest point of a light wave
Frequency: the number of waves (light or sound)
produced in a given unit of time, such as a second
Essential Knowledge, Skills, and
Processes

Compare and contrast reflection and
refraction
Reflection
Refraction
Vocabulary
Reflection: the bouncing of light from a
surface
 Refraction: the bending of light as it passes
through one material to another

Essential Knowledge, Skills, and
Processes

Design an investigation to determine what
happens to light as it passes through a
convex lens. Describe the results.
A convex lens causes light to converge, or focus, producing
an image that is smaller than the original object.
Essential Knowledge, Skills, and
Processes

Design an investigation to determine what
happens to light as it passes through a
concave lens. Describe the results.
A concave lens causes light to diverge, or spread out,
producing a larger image than the original.
Essential Knowledge, Skills, and
Processes

Identify some common optical tools, and
describe whether each has lenses, mirrors,
and/or prisms in it. These should include:
 eyeglasses
 flashlights
 cameras
 binoculars
 microscopes
Essential Knowledge, Skills, and
Processes

Eyeglasses: have lenses
No correction needed
a. Normal eye
b. Myopia (nearsightedness) Corrected with concave lens
c. Hyperopia (farsightedness) Corrected with convex lens
Essential Knowledge, Skills, and
Processes

Flashlight: has lenses and a mirror
Essential Knowledge, Skills, and
Processes

Cameras: have lenses, mirrors, and a prism
Essential Knowledge, Skills, and
Processes

Binoculars: have lenses and prisms
Essential Knowledge, Skills, and
Processes

Microscope: has lenses
Essential Knowledge, Skills, and
Processes

Explain the terms transparent, translucent,
and opaque, and give an example of each.
Plastic wrap
Wax paper
Aluminum Foil
Transparent
Translucent
Opaque
Vocabulary
Transparent: materials that allow all light to
pass through
 Translucent: letting light through but
scattering it
 Opaque: materials that do not let light
through
 Transmit: to send (as in sound or light). It
also means light passing through an object.

Essential Knowledge, Skills, and
Processes

Analyze the effects of a prism on white light
and describe why this occurs. Explain why
a rainbow occurs.
Essential Knowledge, Skills, and
Processes

Describe the contributions of these
scientists in creating and using optical tools:
 Galileo Galilei
 Robert Hooke
 Anton van Leeuwenhoek
 Isaac Newton
Galileo Galilei
Italian
 Lived from 1564-1642
 Developed the refracting telescope
 Developed the first known example of the
microscope

Robert Hooke
English
 Lived from 1635-1703
 Devised the compound microscope and
illumination system
 Discovered plant cells
 Examined fossils with a microscope

Anton van Leeuwenhoek
Dutch; born in Holland
 Lived 1632-1723
 Made over 500 simple microscopes
 Discovered bacteria, free-living and
parasitic microscopic protists

Isaac Newton
English
 Lived from 1643-1727
 Discovered that white light was not a simple
entity, but splits into a range of colors
 When he passed white light through a glass
prism, he noted that a spectrum of light was
formed; particle theory of light
 Reflecting telescope
