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Nature and Source of Light | Physics Class 12

Nature and Source of Light Class: 12
Physics | Notes
Nature and Source of Light
Class: 12

Wave theory of light 
The subject of optics has been divided into two categories that are: 
i) Ray Optics 
ii) Wave Optics 

Ray optics assumed that light consists of rays. A ray of light is the straight line path followed by light in going from one point to another. According to wave theory of light, the light is the form of energy which transfers in a medium in the form of transverse wave motion.

Wavefront 
According to wave theory of light, a source of light sends out disturbance in all direction in a homogeneous medium. The disturbance with reach in phase to all the particles of the medium located at the same distance from the source of light and hence, at any instant, these particles must be vibrating in phase with each other. 

1. Spherical Wavefront

Spherical Wavefront

It is produced by a point source of light as a locus of all such point which are equidistant from the point source, will be a sphere.

2. Cylindrical Wavefront

Cylindrical Wavefront

When the source of light is linear in shape such as a slit, the cylindrical wavefront is produced. All the point equidistant from a linear source lies on the surface of a cylinder.

3. Plane Wavefront

Plane Wavefront

A small part of spherical or a cylindrical wave front due to a distance source will appear plane and hence it is called plane wavefront. It will be represented by a straight line.

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