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Photo by Jan Huber via Unsplash

Database Provider


Crash Course


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Physics, Mathematics

Resource Type

  • Videos, 9 minutes, 44 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus


Light is Waves

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  • This video discusses the physics of light using a number of animations and equations to explain the concepts.
  • Students will learn about constructive and destructive interference, experiments to demonstrate the wave behavior of light, and a number of trigonometry equations to explain the observations.
Teaching Tips


  • It is ideal for an advanced placement or upper level class.
  • The accompanying text and visuals make it easy to follow and understand.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should be familiar with geometry functions, amplitude, frequency, and wavelength.


  • This video could be used to explain Huygen's principle in a physics class.
  • After watching, teachers could have students perform the experiments shown in the video that demonstrate the difference between waves and particles or that show the interference of waves.
  • A portion of this video could be used in a history class to discuss Thomas Young and his contributions to science.
  • Teachers could use this video to clarify constructive interference, destructive interference, and path difference.
Scientist Notes
Fascinatingly, light, like the light coming from the Sun, behaves both like a particle and a wave, which gives it very unique properties. This video explains these unique properties of light. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • PS4: Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer
      • HS-PS4-1 Use mathematical representations to support a claim regarding relationships among the frequency, wavelength, and speed of waves traveling in various media.
      • HS-PS4-3 Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning behind the idea that electromagnetic radiation can be described either by a wave model or a particle model, and that for some situations one model is more useful than the other.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.2 Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source.
  • Common Core Math Standards (CCSS.MATH)
    • Functions: Trigonometric Functions (9-12)
      • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.HSF.TF.A.1 Understand radian measure of an angle as the length of the arc on the unit circle subtended by the angle.
      • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.HSF.TF.B.5 Choose trigonometric functions to model periodic phenomena with specified amplitude, frequency, and midline.
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