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9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Physics, Mathematics

Regional Focus


Light is Waves

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  • This video discusses the physics of light using a number of animations and equations to explain the concepts.
  • Students will learn about constructive and destructive interference, experiments to demonstrate the wave behavior of light, and a number of trigonometry equations to explain the observations.
Teaching Tips


  • It is ideal for an advanced placement or upper level class.
  • The accompanying text and visuals make it easy to follow and understand.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should be familiar with geometry functions, amplitude, frequency, and wavelength.


  • This video could be used to explain Huygen's principle in a physics class.
  • After watching, teachers could have students perform the experiments shown in the video that demonstrate the difference between waves and particles or that show the interference of waves.
  • A portion of this video could be used in a history class to discuss Thomas Young and his contributions to science.
  • Teachers could use this video to clarify constructive interference, destructive interference, and path difference.
Scientist Notes
Fascinatingly, light, like the light coming from the Sun, behaves both like a particle and a wave, which gives it very unique properties. This video explains these unique properties of light. This resource is recommended for teaching.
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      • (+) HSF.TF.B.5 Choose trigonometric functions to model periodic phenomena with specified amplitude, frequency, and midline.
  • Science and Engineering
    • PS4: Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer
      • HS-PS4-1 Use mathematical representations to support a claim regarding relationships among the frequency, wavelength, and speed of waves traveling in various media.
      • HS-PS4-3 Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning behind the idea that electromagnetic radiation can be described either by a wave model or a particle model, and that for some situations one model is more useful than the other.
  • English Language Arts
    • Speaking and Listening (K-12)
      • SL.9-12.2 Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.
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