What Is Light

Having recently discussed sound waves and how we hear, it's worth taking the time to understand light waves and the eye. Light, like sound, is a wave. But, unlike sound, it is also not a wave.

Yes, light is strange.

For now, though, we're going to pretend that light is not strange and simply focus on its wave-like properties. Light, indeed, is a wave, but it's one that is hard to understand. Let it suffice to explain it as follows. Water waves travel through an ocean of water. Sound waves travel through an 'ocean' of air molecules. And light waves, well — it's not clear that light waves travel through anything.

Well, so much for pretending. No matter how you look at it, light is strange.

But strange doesn't mean totally incomprehensible. Fortunately, we have gained some understanding of what light is and what it does. Light does have properties of a wave and understanding those properties has revealed (among other things) that there is a whole world of hidden light.

There's that strangeness again.

But it's true. There is a light that we can see and a light that we cannot see. And this hidden light has enabled us to see a world previously hidden to us. It all has to do with the nature of light, the human brain and how our eyes are built. For now, watch the above video and work on understanding the nature of light. We'll discuss our brain and eyes soon enough.

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