Optical phenomena

Optical phenomena result from the interactions between light and matter. Optical phenomena include absorption, dispersion, diffraction, polarization, reflection, refraction, scattering and transmission.

  • Optics is the branch of physics that studies the behaviour and properties of light, including visible, ultraviolet, and infrared light.
  • Visible, ultraviolet, and infrared light, along with X-rays, microwaves, and radio waves, are all examples of electromagnetic radiation.
  • Many optical phenomena can be explained using the classical electromagnetic theory that describes light in terms of waves.
  • Geometric optics describes light as travelling in straight lines and changing direction when passing through or reflecting from surfaces. These phenomena can be analysed using ray diagrams.
  • Ray diagrams are useful when explaining the workings of everyday objects such as mirrors, lenses, telescopes, microscopes, lasers, and fibre optic devices.
  • Some optical effects such as diffraction and interference can be explained in terms of the particle-like properties of photons and with reference to the field of quantum mechanics.
  • About photons: