The Nature of Light from an Extinguished Light Source

The objective of this experiment was to observe the nature of light as its initiating source is extinguished, whether light would continue to travel forward or recede back towards its source. For each trial, two sensors were set up equidistance from a logic circuit. A half-silvered mirror was used to split a light source into approximately two equally intense beams. Identical lenses were placed in front of the sensors to focus the beam onto a detection sensor. The output of the logic circuit was set, the laser was put in a known state, and the laser was shut off. The change in the output of the logic circuit was recorded. A descriptive analysis was performed on this data as no specific effects were tested. From that, it was concluded that light acts as if it has momentum and obeys Newton’s Laws of motion of a particle. The second sensor in the light stream turned off after the first sensor showing it was moving forward as opposed to retracting in on the source. By observing that light moves forward after its source has been extinguished, it can be proven that light has a property of momentum, which implies that it may have a property of mass associated with it.

Research Done By:

Troy Nemeth
Warren Woods Tower High School

Juzzlyn Perry
Warren Mott High School