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Lecture 11

Lecture 11 - The Solar Spectrum - October 15.docx

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Astronomy & Astrophysics
Michael Reid

October 15, 2013. Lecture 11 - The solar spectrum—absorption and emission lines Light  Light is an electromagnetic wave. It is made of electric and magnetic fields. o Light sometimes acts as a photon (a particle, or little ball of matter) that bounces around o Sometimes light acts like a wave o Electromagnetic = electric and magnetic fields interacting together o Electromagnetic radiation = light  All light has a wavelength o Distance between peaks of the electric (and magnetic) field  Waves have frequencies o Number of times each second that the electric (and magnetic) fields peak up and down (or side to side)  All light travels at the same speed (in empty space) o C = 300 000 000 m/s, in space (in a vacuum) o Nothing travels faster than this o Under different (non vacuum) circumstances, it will be slower o If manipulated, it will be slower (i.e. shone through glass or prisms or water)  Our eyes perceive different wavelengths as different colours o Colours exist to only our brains, not exactly present in nature (and it’s different across species) o Larger wavelengths are perceived as red, smaller wavelengths are perceived as blue o Wavelength = Speed (or c, or 1)/Frequency o Frequency increases with a decrease in wavelength  Difference between waaaaave waaaaave waaaaave and wavewavewavewave  i.e. blue light has the shortest wavelengths, and therefore the highest frequency  Electromagnetic spectrum all types of light o Gamma rays  X-rays  Ultraviolet Light  Visible light (rainbow) Infrared light  Microwa
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