The Electromagnetic Spectrum
Light Sound and Waves

Light travelling not so far: the scattering and absorption of light

Physics Narrative for 11-14 Supporting Physics Teaching

Scattering

Some particles found in the atmosphere have the ability to scatter beams of light.

The incident beams of light are scattered in all directions. In some cases the scattering results from relatively large particles in the air (such as dust particles). In other cases the scattering is thought to be due to interactions between the incident light and molecules in the air.

Absorption

Some particles found in the atmosphere have the ability to absorb beams of light.

The incident beams of light stop, or become dimmer and the particles move more

With light absorption, the incident light interacts with matter in the air and energy is transferred from the light to the matter, resulting in an increase in molecular motion.

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