Section 2: Wave Properties of Light

In order to understand light, it is important to understand what light itself is (duh!). What we typically think of as light is the visible spectrum that allows us to see the world around us, and this spectrum covers the wavelength range of the rainbow that you probably learned in kindergarten (i.e. good ole ROY G. BIV). However, light spans a much broader spectrum than just what we can see! The more formal definition of light would be an electromagnetic wave that, in free space, travels at 300,000,000 m/s. Light can also be further characterized by its intensity, propagation direction, polarization, and frequency/wavelength. The following section provides further information on these properties of light, and how we can use this knowledge to understand how light behaves in different scenarios.

Table of Contents:

  1. Basic Concepts of Electromagnetic Theory
  2. The Wave Equation
  3. Poynting Vector
  4. Nonmonochromatic Waves and Pulses
  5. Helmholtz Equation
  6. Angular Spectrum
  7. Spatial Frequency
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