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ZingPath: Nature of Subatomic Particles

Optical Events Explained by the Wave Model

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Nature of Subatomic Particles

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Lesson Focus

Optical Events Explained by the Wave Model


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You get to expand your knowledge of the atom in an exploration of the nature of its parts. Learn about radiation, the dual nature of light, and get an introduction to the world of quantum mechanics.

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Now You Know

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to complete the following:

  • Explain Young\'s experiment
  • Explain the wave nature of light

Everything You'll Have Covered

What did Ibn Al-Haytham and Isaac Newton believe light was composed of?

~ Ibn Al-Haytham and Isaac Newton believed that light was composed of particles.

Why couldn't scientists use the concepts of reflection and refraction to determine which of the two theories of light was correct?

~ Scientists could not use the concepts of reflection and refraction to determine which theory of light was correct because both concepts would work according to either theory.

How did Thomas Young attempt to prove his light theory?

~ Young placed a lightproof barrier with two small slits in front of a source of light and observed that this projected a series of light and dark points onto a screen. He then conducted the same experiment with water and arrived at similar results.

What did Young's experiment reveal?

~ Young's experiment revealed that both water and light waves create a pattern in which their individual waves alternately destroy or enhance each other. Ultimately, his experiment proved that light is composed of waves rather than particles.

Tutorial Details

Approximate Time 2 Minutes
Pre-requisite Concepts Students should be familiar with the following terms: light and wave.
Course Chemistry
Type of Tutorial Animation
Key Vocabulary light, wave,