1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Light Wavelengths

  1. Nov 24, 2009 #1
    What causes the difference in wavelengths of light? Is it frequency or something?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 24, 2009 #2
    Well mathematically changing the frequency will change the wavelength, the two are inversely related which makes sense:

    If we increase a frequency, then we've shortened the period of a wave which is a shortening of the wavelength

    If we decrease a frequency then we've increased the period of a wave which is a lengthening of the wavelength.

    However in practice we would change a frequency/wavelength by changing the energy of the light. More energetic photons (light) means a shorter wavelength (and conversely larger frequency).

    This intuitively kind of makes sense. If something is more energetic it will "move" faster, in the case of light this means it will have a shorter period which implies a shorter wavelength.

    By the way, welcome to PF!
  4. Nov 24, 2009 #3
    o ok that makes a lot of sense, thanks!
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook