Light Wavelengths

1. Nov 24, 2009

Dancingkitty

What causes the difference in wavelengths of light? Is it frequency or something?

2. Nov 24, 2009

Feldoh

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!

3. Nov 24, 2009

Dancingkitty

o ok that makes a lot of sense, thanks!