Published on Jun 10, 2019

Light Background Images

License Info: Creative Commons 4.0 BY-NC

Light has always been a guide and source of inspiration for humanity throughout the history of humanity. The bright light that gives people life. The light from the stars, including the sun, always surprised people. If there were no light, there would be no life. For centuries, light from stars gave signs of astrology, helped shape calendars, time, and knowledge of seasonal patterns.

Studies ofΒ Light

In early Greece, the scientist used light to measure the size of the earth. He uses a stick in two different angular positions on the ground, measures the length of the formed shadows, and determines the size of the earth using trigonometry. Newton showed that light consists of a spectrum of different colours that represent different wavelengths in his prism experiment. When light falls on a prism, it is scattered at different lengths of light. Galileo uses light from the sky to find various satellites of Jupiter through his reflecting telescope.

There has always been a debate about the nature of light. Newton pointed to the theory that light consists of corpuscles or particles. The light was supposed to be a beam of particles moving at very high speeds. His theory runs into opposition, from Christian Huygens, who claims that light moves in waves, forming crests and hollows. Then the light behaved very little, and in the theory of light, there were no serious breakthroughs.


It was not until the eighteenth century that Thomas Young conducted his experiments with interference, suggesting that light is a wave. Light, when it passes through two small slits, forms an interference pattern behind the slits. The pattern consists of alternating bands of bright and dark stripes formed by constructive and destructive wave interference. If the light were a particle in nature, the intervention would not occur with these patterns. Thus, the wave-like nature of light was finally accepted as the nature of light.

Is the speed of light constant? Does speed depend on the environment in which it moves? Is it variable? These were some of the questions that prevailed in the eighteenth century. Maxwell proved that light should consist of alternating waves of electric and magnetic fields. Maxwell’s equations, placed in a frame, also showed that light moves at a certain speed. In that time, it was assumed that space would be filled with ether, that is, the medium through which the light passes so that the light does not have a fixed speed. The spread of light through the ether determines its speed. So, if the light moves at a fixed speed, the mystery has not yet been solved.

Einstein conceived the question of what will be the speed of light for an observer moving at the speed of light or moving at half the speed of light. The particular theory of relativity is needed to prove that in any note the observer moves, the speed of light will look the same. Therefore, if you are on a spacecraft or in a boat with still water, the speed of light will be the same for each observer. It was a wonderful observation that would change everything that is known about the world. It was this assumption about the constant speed of light that made Einstein propose his special and general theory of relativity.

Another great work is the discovery of Hubble in an expansionist universe. The light emanating from distant stars showed a characteristic spectrum, showing that it was red-shifted. From the Doppler effect, it became clear that the galaxies are moving away from each other. This discovery gave impetus to the expansionist universe theory, thus abandoning the old static theory of the universe.

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