Facts about White Light

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To find out more about the diagram above . . . . read on!

Facts about White Light

Look carefully at the diagram at the top of the page. Now check out the following questions (and answers)!

  1. Does the sun emit electromagnetic radiation?
  2. Does the visible spectrum contain all the wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum?
  3. Is light visible as it travels through deep space?
  4. Why do objects appear to be different colours to an observer?
  5. What is the range of wavelengths that makes up the visible spectrum measured in nanometres?

About the Diagram

Introducing the diagram! Read back and forward between the image at the top of the page and the explanation below!

This diagram introduces white light, the name given to light that contains all wavelength of the visible spectrum.

Work through the list of key facts on the diagram.

Remember that:

  • White light contains all the wavelengths of the visible spectrum.
  • White light contains all wavelengths of light that correspond with the colours of the rainbow.
  • White light does not include infrared and ultraviolet wavelengths of light.

Now let’s look at that in detail:

  • White light is the name given to visible light that contains all wavelengths of the visible spectrum at equal intensities.
  • As light travels through a vacuum or a medium it is described as white light if it contains all the wavelengths of visible light.
  • As light travels through the air it is invisible to our eyes.
  • When we look around we see through the air because it is very transparent and light passes through it.
  • The term white light doesn’t mean light is white as it travels through the air.
  • One situation in which light becomes visible is when it reflects off the surface of an object.
  • When white light strikes a neutral coloured object and all wavelengths are reflected then it appears white to an observer.

Follow the blue links for definitions . . . . or check the summaries of key terms below!

Some Key Terms

Move to the next level! Check out the following terms.

Electromagnetic spectrum

The electromagnetic spectrum includes electromagnetic waves of all possible wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation, ranging from low energy radio waves through visible light to high energy gamma rays.

Rainbow

rainbow is an optical phenomenon produced by illuminated droplets of water. Rainbows are caused by reflectionrefraction and dispersion of light in individual droplets and results in the appearance of an arc of spectral colours.

  • Rainbows can be produced by meteorological phenomena, waterfalls, lawn sprinklers and other things that create a fine mist of water.
  • A rainbow is formed from millions of individual raindrops each of which reflects and refracts a tiny image of the sun towards the observer.
  • It is the dispersion of light as refraction takes place that produces the rainbow colours seen by an observer.
  • If the sun is behind an observer then the rainbow will appear in front of them.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow

Visible light

Visible light is a form of electromagnetic radiation.

Visible spectrum

The visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum is called the visible spectrum.

  • The visible spectrum is the range of wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum that correspond with all the different colours we see in the world.
  • As light travels through the air it is invisible to our eyes.
  • Human beings don’t see wavelengths of light, but they do see the spectral colours that correspond with each wavelength and colours produced when different wavelengths are combined.
  • The visible spectrum includes all the spectral colours between red and violet and each is produced by a single wavelength.
  • The visible spectrum is often divided into named colours, though any division of this kind is somewhat arbitrary.
  • Traditional colours referred to in English include red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet.

Wavelength

Wavelength is a measurement from any point on the path of a wave to the same point on its next oscillation. The measurement is made parallel to the centre-line of the wave.

More Information

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Slides

Slides available for download from lightcolourvision.org share common specifications:
  • Titles: All slides has titles.
  • Backgrounds: Black, framed with a violet gradient.
  • Size: 1686 x 1124 pixels (3:2 aspect ratio).
  • Slides are available in three file formats: SVG, PNG, AI.

Slides (black backgrounds) are optimized for viewing on screen or with a projector.

Diagrams (white/transparent backgrounds) are optimized for printing on A4 pages in portrait format.

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Diagrams

Diagrams available for download from lightcolourvision.org share common specifications:
  • Titles: No titles.
  • Backgrounsd SVG: White.
  • Backgrounsd PNG: Transparent.
  • Backgrounds AI: Fully editable.
  • Size: 1686 pixels wide. So all diagrams reproduce at the same scale when inserted into Word documents etc.
  • Labels: Calibri 24pt Italic.
  • Diagrams are available in three file formats: SVG, PNG, AI.

Diagrams (white/transparent backgrounds) are optimized for printing on A4 pages in portrait format.

Slides (black backgrounds) are optimized for viewing on screen or using a projector.

FILE TYPES - SVG

SVG file format

Download the image at the top of this page as an SVG file:
  • All images available for download at lightcolourvision.org are 1686px wide.
  • Text on SVG images with black backgrounds has been converted from fonts to outlines.
  • Text on SVG images with white (or transparent) backgrounds use Calibri 24pt Italic.

Did you know:

  • SVG (.svg) stands for Scalable Vector Graphic.
  • SVG files scale up or down without loss of definition because they are like line drawings.
  • SVG files are much smaller in size than most other file formats (e.g JPEG or PNG).
  • You can insert SVG files directly into MS Word 365 or PowerPoint 365.
  • You can view SVG files by dragging the file into a browser tab.
  • You can edit SVG files using programs such as Adobe Illustrator.

FILE TYPES - PNG

PNG file format

Download the image at the top of this page as a PNG file:
  • All images available for download at lightcolourvision.org are 1686px wide.
  • Because all images are a standard width they reproduce consistently on an A4 page.

Did you know:

  • PNG (.png) stands for Portable Network Graphics.
  • PNG files are raster files as are JPG’s (.jpeg) files, so they behave like photos.
  • Our PNG’s are 32bit files.
  • You can insert or paste PNG’s directly into MS Word 365 or PowerPoint 365.
  • You can view PNG files by dragging them into a browser tab.
  • You can edit PNG files using programs such as Adobe Photoshop.

FILE TYPES - AI

AI (Adobe Illustrator) file format

Download the image at the top of this page as an AI (Adobe Illustrator) file:
  • All images available for download at lightcolourvision.org are 1686px wide.

Did you know:

  • AI (.ai) files downloaded from lightcolourvision.org can be re-edited using Adobe Illustrator.
  • Adobe Illustrator can save and export AI files to other formats including PDF (.pdf), PNG (.png), JPG (.jpeg) and SVG(.svg.

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