Light Wave and Optics Formulas

Part of the Physics II For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Light waves — that is, electromagnetic waves — behave like other waves: They can reflect, refract (bend), and interfere with each other. Here are some wave formulas that are useful when you’re working with optics. You can determine the wave frequency and period, predict how fast light travels in various materials, and determine how light will bend in lenses and bounce off mirrors.

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