Describe the path of the light as it moves through the air. Make sure to cite evidence from the protractor.

Quick answer:

Light travels through the air in a transverse wave pattern at a speed of 300,000,000 miles per second. Light travels so fast that the resulting travel pattern is a straight line called a ray.

Expert Answers

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

Light is composed of photons, which are tiny particles of energy. When atoms in an object or medium heat up, the excess energy particles they release are known as photons. Light travels in a transverse wave-like pattern at a speed of approximately 300,000,000 miles per second, or 186,400 miles per hour, which makes it the fastest traveling subject in the universe. This is why is you lightning before you hear thunder.

The wave-like pattern is so fast that it results in light traveling in straight lines called rays (i.e., rays of sunshine). Nothing else travels faster than light. Light does not need a medium (i.e., solid, liquid, or gas) through which to travel and transport its energy.

Light travels in three ways. Light can travel directly from its source to another location through an empty, airless space, such as a vacuum or from the sun to Earth. Although light does not require a medium through which to travel, it can certainly travel through media such as air, water, or glass to another location.

Light can also travel after being reflected through items, such as mirrors. If light travels through a reflective object or from one type of medium to another type of medium, it can change the direction of its travel.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial