Where does light come from?

Where does light come from?

Understanding the basics of what light is and where light comes from is the key to understanding LED lighting and UPRtek handheld spectrometers. However, we must first get our feet wet in the world of Science, particularly Physics and Chemistry. Here explains the lighting fundamentals in layman terms, in a straightforward, concise and practical way, without any MATH!

A little Science and Magic … The importance of understanding light.
Before we begin, we must set some expectations. Physics and Chemistry are like Magic - there are things you will see that will amaze and confound you at the same time. So it's important to prepare yourself to turn your world upside-down and be ready for anything.
Atoms make light
What is an atom?
Light comes from atoms, so we need to first understand what an atom is. Everything is made of atoms. The table, the wall, your cell phone, oxygen ... even you are made of atoms. Actually, an atom is so small that you can't really see one - but, when you combine them together, they become things, like water.
What is a molecule?
Atoms in an object are usually arranged into groups of atoms called molecules. For example, if I take one Oxygen (O) atom and add two Hydrogen (O) atoms, I get an H2O molecule. These atoms are attracted together by forces (electrostatic forces). Many molecules form an object - sometimes these molecules are loosely held together like water, or sometimes they are tightly held together like metals. It all depends on the molecular structure.
Molecules determines, like DNA determines
Your DNA determines your physical characteristics; your gender; how tall, how heavy, the color of your hair. In a similar way, Molecular structure determines an object's characteristics; its color, its texture, its smell , its weight, ability to conduct electricity, melting temperature etc. Metal is solid, water is liquid - it's all because their molecular structures are different.
Let's take a closer look...
Making light from an atom is an easy process. You just need a little imagination. Inside an atom, there is a large nucleus -then there is a small electron (s) that flies around the nucleus in a fixed orbit - you can think of it as the Sun (nucleus) with the smaller Earth (electron)orbiting it. When energy is thrust upon the atom, the electron flies out to a higher orbit. When it returns to its original (natural) orbit, light is emitted.
Making Light of Things
1. The electron flies around in its natural orbit.
2. Energy can be added which causes the electron to move to a higher energy orbit for a short time.
3. The electron returns to its lower natural orbit and light (photons) is released (energy released).
4. The electron remains in its natural orbit, until it is excited again into a higher orbit and the process repeats itself.
The Nucleus of an atom contains neutrons and protons. Protons are positively charged, Electrons are negatively charged and Neutrons are neutral (no charge).
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Related FAQ
Inside an Incandescent bulb, electricity is used to heat up the Tungsten Filament. The electrons in the Tungsten Filament begin to jump out to a higher energy orbit for an instance and then drop back to its natural orbit, releasing light. (You can also refer “Making Light of Things” from the FAQ of Where does light come from? ) Read More
As we mentioned in artificial light FAQs, a Fluorescent Light makes light in two separate steps; electricity causes mercury vapor to emit UV light, the UV light strikes the Phosphor inner lining and causes the Phosphor to emit visible light. In both cases, the same mechanisms of Energy-Atom-Electron-Photon are in effect. Read More
As we saw on the previous FAQ“Where does light come from?”, electrons at higher orbits that drop back to lower orbits, release photons of light. In LED semiconductors, a similar strategy is at work. Electrons jump from higher energy states to lower energy states. Read More


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UPRtek Where does light come from? Introduction

United Power Research Technology Corp. is Taiwan supplier and manufacturer in Optoelectronics Industry. UPRtek has been offering our customers high quality Spectrometer, Color Meter, Spectral PAR Meter, Spectral Color Meter, Spectrum, LED Meter, Spectradiometer, LED Measurement, LED light testing since 2010. With both advanced technology and 8 years experience, UPRtek always make sure to meet each customer's demand.

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