Light has always attracted people. Its actual effect remains unknown to science. One thing is clear: every life form on earth needs it. Light is a true multitalent. We have put together a compact summary of what it can do and what happens when you press a light switch.
Giver of life and more
Light is important for human, animal and plant life. Without light, all life would be threatened with extinction. Apart from this, light is important in all areas of life: at the workplace, in the living room or in public places: light – or, more precisely, lighting – presents often as a necessary prerequisite for work, and creates joy through exciting design.
Let us go ride the waves
Researchers are still not in agreement on whether light is made up of electromagnetic particles or of waves. Speaking of waves, you start thinking of the sea? That’s not all that inaccurate! Light moves like a surfer elegantly rides on the waves. No water means no waves – this is different for light. When light spreads, an electromagnetic field is produced – at least according to the theory of light particles. The electromagnetic field is produced by collisions with light – particles are broken free by the impact. This property is important for solar power generators.
Casting a shadow at light speed
Light spreads in a straight line and always originates in the light source. This may be the sun or the lamp of your luminaire. This light source produces many individual rays of light that will hit different objects: mountains, the closest house, yourself or a parasol. All of these things stop the path of the imagined light rays, which causes every object to cast a shadow when exposed to light.
Light is a true speed king: at an unimaginable 300,000 km/s, it spreads much faster than any wave in the sea. In contrast to the sea’s waves, we cannot see every wave made by light: broad, drawn-out waves and narrow waves close to each other are invisible to us. The human eye is only able to recognize a specific range of wavelengths that can be processed by the brain. More technically speaking: all light waves with a wavelength between 380 and 700 nano meters are visible to us.
Depending on wavelength, our eye will interpret different colours: low wavelengths lead us to perceive colours such as violet, blue and green. High wavelengths describe red, orange and yellow.