3.14 recall that light waves are transverse waves which can be reflected, refracted and diffracted

  • Light waves are transverse waves – energy travels perpendicular to the matter.


  • It is the reflection of light which allows us to see things (light bounces off objects into our eyes)
  • If a light ray hits a reflective surface (eg. a mirror) the rays will reflect back at the same angle of the normal line


  • If a wave refracts, it bends and changes direction
  • It occurs when a wave enters a medium of a different density – when it returns to the medium of original density, it will travel in the same direction it started


  • Waves ‘disperse’ when the waves hit an obstacle with an opening, they bunch up and spread out after the opening on the other side

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