Light Energy

Light from Circular Quay Sydney

Sydney’s Circular Quay bathed in visible electromagnetic radiation.

In a Flash

Light Energy

Light energy is a form of electromagnetic radiation. Light consists of photons, which are produced when an object's atoms heat up. Light travels in waves and is the only form of energy visible to the human eye.

Burning Questions

What is light energy?

Light energy is a form of electromagnetic radiation of a wavelength, which can be seen by the human eye. It is a type of kinetic energy.

How is light energy formed?

Light is made up of photons, which are like tiny packets of energy. When an object's atoms heat up, photon are produced from the movement of atoms. The hotter the object, the more photons are produced.

How does light travel?

Light energy travels in the form of waves. Light energy is very fast – in fact, nothing travels faster.

What are some examples of light energy?

Light energy is given off by things like stars, light bulbs, lasers, and hot objects.

Stars

Stars

Lightbulbs

Lightbulbs

Lasers

Lasers

Our Sun – which is also a star – transmits light energy to Earth.

Light Diagram

The Sun is a natural source of light energy.

How is light energy used?

Light energy is used to help us see – either naturally using the Sun or fire, or with manmade objects like candles or lightbulbs.

Light energy is also used by plants, which capture the light energy from the Sun and use it to produce their food.

What Do You Mean?

Light energy is a form of electromagnetic radiation that can be seen by the human eye.

Photons are the particles that light is made up of, which are like tiny packets of energy.

The Sun is the closest star to the planet Earth and radiates light energy.

Cool Facts

Light can travel at up to 300,000 kilometres per second. Good luck keeping up with that!

Cool Facts

The word 'photon' comes from the Latin word 'photo' – which means 'light'.

Speedy Summary

Light energy is a form of electromagnetic radiation of a wavelength, which can be seen by the human eye.