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Sound and Light I

One  important difference between sound and light is that sound can only travel through a solid, liquid or gas. Sound can not travel through a vacuum. For example, sound can not travel through outer space. Light on the other hand, can travel through a vacuum. This topic explores the electromagnetic spectrum.

Lesson 1 (or “Day 1”) Material
Lesson 2 (or “Day 2”) Material
Lesson 3 (or “Day 3”) Material
Lesson 4 (or “Day 4”) Material

3:47 Why do mirrors flip horizontally (but not vertically)?

3:51 Nature of Light

3:55 What is Light? Maxwell and the Electromagnetic Spectrum



Compare Contrast and Debate

Background: Visible light is only a very small portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. For example, x-rays and radio waves are also on the spectrum. Some teachers introduce the entire electromagnetic spectrum all at once. Other teachers introduce concepts of visible light first – then the other parts of the spectrum.

  • Position A: The best way to learn about the electromagnetic spectrum is to introduce the entire spectrum first – then show how visible light is part of the spectrum.
  • Position B: The best way to learn about the electromagnetic spectrum is through visible light (such as a rainbow) – then introduce the other parts of the spectrum.

Resources Documents and Links

Special Notes and Notices

Instructor Emphasis:

  • Science & Engineering Practice: Ask questions and define problems.
  • Cross-Cutting Concept: Energy and Matter: Flows, cycles, and conservation.