What are two ways in which light behaves? 

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Light is an interesting case in that it can behave as both a wave, and a particle.

More specifically, light behaves as a wave when it is traveling through space. Light can actually travel at a number of different wavelengths which fall in to various categories of what is known as the electromagnetic spectrum, with the visible light we see actually falling in a very small range of the total spectrum. 

Light can also act like a particle. It does so by carrying small amounts of energy known as quanta. This behavior of light was determined by the discovery of the photoelectric effect. A good example of light energy at work as a particle is in the process of photosynthesis. In this biological process, light provides the energy necessary for the chemical reactions of photosynthesis to take place. Hope this helps!


Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial