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Topic 8 vocab

Physics Vocabulary

Reflected Ray When an incident ray strikes a surface, the light ray that is reflected from it is called the reflected ray.
Angle Of Reflection The angle at which a light ray or other wave is reflected from the surface of a medium, measured relative to a normal (perpendicular) to the surface.
Law Of Reflection The angle of reflection is equal to the angle of incidence.
Coherent Light Source A source of light producing waves with a constant phase relationship (in phase).
Normal A reference line drawn perpendicular to a surface.
Incident Ray (Wave) A light ray or a wave that strikes a surface.
Absolute Index Of Refraction The ratio of the speed of light in a vacuum to the speed of light in a medium: n = c/v.
Dispersion The process of separating multicolored rays of light (polychromatic light) into its constituent colors.
Index Of Refraction A measure of how much light is refracted or bent when it moves from one optical medium into another optical medium, related to the angle of incidence and the angle of refraction: n = sin θi/sin θr.
Electromagnetic Radiation The propagation of waves in the electromagnetic spectrum, such as x-rays or gamma radiation.
Plane Mirror A flat reflecting surface.
Angle Of Incidence The angle at which an incident light ray or other wave strikes the surface of a medium, measured relative to a normal (perpendicular) to the surface.
Light A form of electromagnetic radiation with properties of both waves and photon particles.
Polarization The separation of a beam of light so that the vibrations are in the same plane.
Snell's Law The relationship between the angles of incidence and refraction to the speed of a wave when it passes from one medium through another: image.
Diffuse Reflection The scattering of light caused by reflection from an irregular surface.
Optical Density A measure of the opaqueness of a translucent medium.
Monochromatic Light Electromagnetic radiation that includes only a narrow range of frequencies.
Prism An optical device used to disperse light.
Regular Reflection An effect produced by polished surfaces, usually resulting an image of the source.
Polychromatic Light A mixture of light of varying wavelengths (colors).
Perceived Frequency The frequency of a wave as seen by an observer.
Electromagnetic Spectrum A broad range of electromagnetic waves that includes radio waves, infrared waves, visible light waves, ultraviolet waves, x-rays and gamma rays.
Speed Of Light A constant value; the speed of light in a vacuum is 3.00 × 108 m/s.
Velocity Of Light The velocity of light in a vacuum is a constant value of 3.00 × 108 m/s represented by the letter c. See the List of Physical Constants in the Reference Tables for Physics.
Electromagnetic Waves Waves composed of electric and magnetic fields vibrating perpendicular to each other.
Redshift A shift in the frequency of a photon toward lower energy, or longer wavelength.
Total Internal Reflection The reflection of an incident light ray (wave) inside a dense medium that results when the angle of incidence exceeds the critical angle.
Created by: jwhitm5
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