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## Exploratorium

### Unit 2: Lesson 1

Light and Color Introduction

# Light and color introduction

All we see is light. Your face in the mirror, the trees on your street, that donut in the bakery window—you can see them because light bounces off of them and enters your eyes. Our eyes are designed to detect light and analyze the information it carries about the world around us.
In the hands-on activities that follow, you’ll investigate some of the amazing properties of light. You can bend light (called refraction when it passes through lenses or diffraction when it bends around an edge or passes through a slit), bounce light around using mirrors (also known as reflection), and explore the multicolored potential of shadows.
It’s all around us, and while you may not be able to hold it in your hands, seeing is believing—light is pretty amazing stuff.

## Want to join the conversation?

• How can shadows be different colors than grey to black?
• Try the Colored Shadows activity and you'll find out!
• There is a word for rainbow colours what is the word and what the word means?
• I think it is called the spectrum. When white light passes through a prism, you can see a set of all the rainbow colours consisting of different wavelengths (violet is the shortest, and red is the longest wavelength).
Hope this helps!
• What about light and the relationship it has with color?
• Well, do you know the relationship that a guitar has with music? You strike a string on the guitar and your ear picks up the vibrations. Sometimes those vibrations are low pitched and sometimes they are high pitched. The difference is random. You need to press the string against a fret to get different sounds. The pressing of your finger is shortening the string and thus causing the vibration to be faster (higher).
The same is true of light. Light travels as a particle wave (or wave particle) that bounces off of objects. Some property of the object causes the light wave to slow down a little or a lot. The effect is that the light bounces off the object and arrives at our eye at different wavelengths.
• Is the curved peace a prism?
• if you take a prism and shine a purple light in it, will it shoot blue and red lights out of the prism?
(1 vote)
• what will happen if direct sunlight hit a glass window?
(1 vote)
• i know this might not be a usefull question ... but ...
in the next ¨chapter¨ does it mention why it is that humans see colors and other animals dont ?
(1 vote)