14 Properties of Light, Here’s a Complete Explanation & Example

The Nature of Light – Does Sinaumed’s like things that are bright and luminous? Exactly, light is an important thing in human life that is used in the needs of daily activities. Humans will definitely experience difficulties if there is no light or lack of light in life, both sunlight and other artificial lighting. Even in some sectors are very dependent and rely on the nature of light. 

Apart from being studied in science subject matter at school, Sinaumed’s also needs to know and understand the properties of light in its function in everyday life. The following is an explanation of the meaning and properties of light that Sinaumed’s needs to see in order to maximize the function of light: 


Light is one of the energies that has visible electromagnetic waves with a wavelength of about 380 to 750 nm. Light waves do not need a medium to propagate, which is why light can still propagate even in a vacuum. For example, sunlight can still reach the earth even though it passes through a vacuum in space in a matter of 300 million m/s. 

The sun is called a source of light because it is capable of emitting light waves. Besides the sun, the source of light is fire, torches, lamps, candles, and so on. In the study of physics, light waves are included in the energy group which can be in the form of energy. In this case radiation is a form that radiates outward from a light source but is not a substance in the form of solid, liquid, or gas.  

Isaac Newton once revealed in the Hypothesis of Light in 1675 that light consists of fine particles that radiate in all directions from their point of origin. A light source is an object that can produce light. Based on the source, light is then divided into two, namely light that comes from the object itself and light that emanates from other objects due to the reflection of light from the surface of the object. 

It is from this light source that light then has the characteristics that characterize light as an energy wave that humans need. 


In practice, light as a wave of energy has properties or characteristics that can be used as its purpose and function in everyday life. The nature of this light is different from other forms of energy, such as sound, vibration, and so on. Following are the properties of light that Sinaumed’s needs to know along with examples in daily life activities: 

1. Can Creep Straight

Light can propagate straight if it passes through an intermediary medium that has the same or equivalent particles. The intermediate medium must have the same optical density so that light can propagate straight. The phenomenon that can prove that light can propagate straight is the sun as the largest source of light on earth which has a straight beam. This happens because of the propagation of sunlight to the earth, so there is day and night. 

Besides that, the phenomenon of solar eclipses and lunar eclipses proves that light can propagate straight. In this phenomenon, the sun’s rays are blocked by the moon, making part of the earth dark. An example of the nature of light that propagates straight can also be found by Sinaumed’s in everyday life, namely when a flashlight is facing forward, it will radiate straight according to what we point the flashlight at. 

2. Can Be Reflected Or Reflection

Light can be reflected by emitting light back from the surface of the object that is exposed to light. The nature of the reflection possessed by this light can be divided into two, namely regular reflection and diffuse or diffuse reflection. In the process of regular reflection, light beams will reflect parallel, like when Sinaumed’s played during the day carrying a mirror to reflect light. When directing the mirror in the direction of light, it can be reflected in all directions from the reflected light of the sun. 

While diffuse reflection is the reflection of light that occurs on an uneven surface. For example, the reflection of light on water, rocks, trees, shoes, and asphalt. Mirrors that use the nature of light reflection are divided into flat mirrors, convex mirrors, and concave mirrors. 

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3. Can Penetrate Clear Objects

Objects that are clear or transparent can be penetrated by light. Objects that have colorless or transparent particles can be propagated by light easily. This can happen because clear or transparent objects are able to transmit light. For example, clear glass windows cannot block sunlight from entering the house. We can still see out of the glass window because light can still penetrate outside the clear glass and be caught by our eyes. 

4. May Experience Interference

Light can experience interference, that is, it can combine from two or more waves. Light can propagate more than one wave because light is one of the strongest energies. For example, light can travel through air, water, and solid at the same time with different waves. 

5. Can be Refracted or Deflected (Refraction)

Light can be refracted when light moves obliquely through a medium of different density, such as from air then through water, so that light undergoes refraction and deflection in that medium. The nature of light that can be refracted or bent is widely used for various optical devices. An example that Sinaumed’s can find is seeing a pool that looks shallow because the water is clear, even though the pool could have depth.  

Apart from that, Sinaumed’s can also pay attention when swimming and place a stick in the part of the water that is exposed to sunlight, so when viewed from above the stick will appear larger than its original size. Even simpler, Sinaumed’s was able to prove that light has the property of refraction or can be refracted through a clear glass of water where a pencil is placed. Take a look, the pencil will look broken or bent because sunlight passes through the air and water in the glass and it bends in the direction of propagation.

6. Decompose Or Disperse

Light can be described or dispersed naturally, for example like what happens in a rainbow. The color of the rainbow actually comes from only one color, namely the white color of sunlight. Then the color of the sunlight is refracted by the raindrops, causing the rainbow colors to decompose and produce a variety of beautiful colors. The white color of the sun becomes the color of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and purple light. 

Decomposable light is a form of separation of visible light into light of different colors. An example of decomposition of light other than a rainbow is a prism that is illuminated by a flashlight, so one color of the flashlight will decompose into various colors if it penetrates the prism.  

7. Can Experience Diffraction Or Flexion

Light can experience diffraction or bending in a narrow field. Light waves that experience bending because it propagates towards light that passes through a narrow gap. An example of light that has the property of diffraction is that light can enter the slightest hole in the room. For example, Sinaumed’s can still find light coming into the room even though all corners are closed because light can enter even in narrow gaps. This deflection of diffracted light will create dark and bright areas in certain rooms that are exposed to light. 

8. Can Experience Polarization

Light can also experience polarization, which is to absorb some of the direction of vibration of light so that the light can partially lose its direction of vibration. Light can be surrendered or polarized by propagating in all directions perpendicular to the direction of propagation it has. For example, light can be said to be polarized if it only propagates in one direction. 

9. Absorbable Or Absorption

Light can be absorbed when it enters a transparent material. Some of the light energy will be dissipated or reduced in heat energy. This indicates that the light intensity will decrease or absorption in certain materials. For example, light will more easily pass through a transparent object than through an object that has a denser material. 

10. Has Energy

Light certainly has energy because it can propagate in certain waves and has a mass form, even though it is not a substance, that is, it is not solid, liquid, or gas. The thing that proves that light has energy is sunlight that has a certain heat or temperature that can change certain substances. For example, if Sinaumed’s hangs wet clothes in the sun, then over time the clothes will dry because water evaporation occurs in the clothes due to the heat that comes from the sun. 

The heat that emerges from the sun is also marked by the appearance of the sun’s light itself. Another example is the use of sunlight as solar power as heat and electricity energy that comes from sunlight. 

11. Can Propagate Without Medium

In general, certain energy waves require a medium to propagate, such as sound energy which requires air to propagate and produce sound. In contrast to light energy which can still propagate even though it does not have an intermediary medium. For example, sunlight can reach the earth even though it is very far from the earth and passes through the empty space in outer space. 

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If light cannot propagate without a medium, then sunlight will never reach the earth. In addition, Sinaumed’s can still see light in an airtight room, even if there is a gap for the light to shine into the room. 

12. Dualism in nature

Light has the nature of dualism because it can be called both a wave and a particular particle. Light can be called a wave because light does have a certain wavelength. Meanwhile, light is also composed of certain particles that form it, even though they are not substances, such as solid, liquid, and gas. 

Light has particles once revealed by an American scientist named Arthur Compton who revealed that there were collisions between the particles that make up light and certain electrons. The dual nature of light can appear naturally or artificially, namely sunlight and light from lamps due to electricity, light from candles due to fire, and so on.  

13. Can Be Emitted In The Form Of Radiation

Light can be in the form of radiation because it has energy that can be emitted in the form of waves and certain heat without even a medium or intermediary. The proof that light can be in the form of radiation is that light has energy and is a form of heat. For example, Sinaumed’s will feel hot if it is long in the sun or around a lamp, or a high-power laser. We all know that sunlight has radiation which can also be bad for human skin, ie UV rays. 

14. Consists of Various Colors

Does Sinaumed’s know what color sunlight is? Sinaumed’s needs to know that the color of sunlight is white. Actually, there are various colors of light which are then called polychromatic light. Examples of light that has colored properties can be found in the colors of the rainbow, which is the refraction and decomposition of light through raindrops in clouds. 

The light that appears as a result of refraction is called a single light. The resulting light color can no longer be broken down or refracted and is called monochromatic light. Examples of the color of light can be identified by Sinaumed’s from the colors of the rainbow, namely red, orange, yellow, blue, green, indigo, and purple. 


Based on the understanding and properties of light above, Sinaumed’s can find several tools that rely heavily on the function of the properties of light to run their tools, such as the following:

  1. Periscope is one of the equipment commonly used in submarines whose function is to see the situation above sea level at a certain distance, even though it is very far away. This tool takes advantage of the reflective properties of light which can maximize periscope visibility over a very wide expanse of sea.  
  2. A magnifying glass lens is a tool usually used to see small objects, for example when you want to repair a watch. This tool is made of a convex lens that utilizes the nature of light reflection or reflection of light on certain objects. 
  3. A microscope is an instrument used to view very small objects using a convex mirror or lens. This tool also takes advantage of the nature of light that can be reflected or reflected on certain objects. The microscope is a very important tool in the laboratory world, both physics, chemistry, to medicine and has become a sophisticated tool in current science. 
  4. The camera is a tool that relies on the lens for its function of taking pictures and requires the function of light to produce good pictures. Cameras need properties that can reflect light. 

Well, that’s an explanation of light, from understanding to examples and equipment that utilizes the properties of light in daily activities. Can Sinaumed’s recognize the properties of light in everyday life? Sinaumed’s will often encounter phenomena that show the nature of light in the surrounding environment. This shows that humans are very dependent on light energy for daily activities and survival. As a natural phenomenon as well as man-made energy, light can be said to be the source of human life. 

Sinaumed’s can visit sinaumedia’s book collection at www.sinaumedia. c om to obtain references about light. Both for the needs of subject matter in schools and broader forms of prevention. We have even studied material about the properties of light since elementary school science subjects, so now there is no excuse for not knowing the properties of light. The following is a recommendation for sinaumedia books that Sinaumed’s can read about light in science subjects at SD, SMP, SMP, or equivalent: Enjoy studying. #Friends Without Limits 

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