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GCSE Physics notes: Light energy

TYPES OF ENERGY - examples explained

(h) Light energy

Doc Brown's GCSE 9-1 Physics Revision Notes

Suitable for GCSE/IGCSE Physics/Science courses or their equivalent

 

This page will help you answer questions such as ...

 What is light energy?

 Can you store light energy?

 



Light energy (parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, like visible light, microwaves and infrared etc.)

  • Strictly speaking light is NOT an energy store, but an important form of energy.

  • Light is an example of electromagnetic radiation and the energy is carried by photons.

  • All luminous sources by definition give out visible light eg the sun, light bulb, candle, fire etc.

  • When light impacts on any material, the energy is absorbed eg sunlight shining on plant leaves in photosynthesis, light falling on the retina of our eyes.

  • You cannot store light energy because ultimately it is always absorbed by materials it impact on and converted into another type of energy e.g. heat.

  • Note that invisible infrared radiation is converted directly into heat when absorbed by a surface eg warmth feeling in sunlight, standing by a fire, a toaster. All objects radiate infra-red radiation. The hotter the object the greater the intensity of infrared emitted - the greater the energy store transfer.

  • Solar cells can convert light energy directly into electrical energy which can be used as it is produced or stored in a rechargeable battery system.

  • See Electromagnetic radiation, types, properties and uses


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Energy resources, and transfers, work done and electrical power supply revision notes index

Types of energy & stores - examples compared/explained, calculations of mechanical work done and power

Chemical  * Elastic potential energy  * Electrical & electrostatic Gravitational potential energy

Kinetic energy store  *  Nuclear energy store  *  Thermal energy stores  * Light energy  * Sound energy

Conservation of energy, energy transfers-conversions, efficiency - calculations and Sankey diagrams

Energy resources: uses, general survey & trends, comparing renewables, non-renewables, generating electricity

Renewable energy (1) Wind power and solar power, advantages and disadvantages gcse physics revision notes

Renewable energy (2) Hydroelectric power and geothermal power, advantages and disadvantages gcse physics

Renewable energy (3) Wave power and tidal barrage power, advantages and disadvantages gcse physics

See also Renewable energy - biofuels & alternative fuels, hydrogen, biogas, biodiesel

Greenhouse effect, global warming, climate change, carbon footprint from fossil fuel burning gcse physics

The Usefulness of Electricity gcse physics electricity revision notes

and The 'National Grid' power supply, mention of small scale supplies, transformers gcse physics notes


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