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  • Sahil Bade


Updated: Mar 26, 2021

In fiction, some superheroes have special vision. In the show WandaVision, for instance, Monica Rambeau can see energy pulsing from objects all around her. Similarly, Superman has X-ray vision and can see through objects. These are definitely super talents, but it’s not that different from what normal humans can do. That’s because we can also see a type of energy: visible light.

A more formal name for light is electromagnetic radiation. This type of energy travels as waves, at a constant speed of 30,00,00,000 meters per second in a vacuum. Light can come in many different forms, all determined by its wavelength. Wavelength is defined as the distance between the peak of one wave and the peak of another.

The light we can see is called visible light (because we can, you know, see it). Longer wavelengths appear as red. Shorter wavelengths look violet. The wavelengths in between fill in all the colors of the rainbow.

But visible light is only a small part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Longer wavelengths just past red are known as infrared light. We can’t see infrared, but we can feel it as heat. Beyond that are micro-waves and radio waves. Wavelengths shorter than violet are known as ultraviolet light. Most people can’t see ultraviolet, but animals such as frogs and salamanders can. Even shorter than ultraviolet light is the X-ray radiation used to image inside the body. And still shorter are gamma rays.

Light is an extremely fascinating topic with a vast array of concepts. For anyone with a curious mind, it’s sure to interest you!

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