# Waves, Sound and Light: Light Waves

## Light Waves: Audio Guided Solution

#### Problem 1:

In 1957, the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory conducted the first ever radar measurements of the distance from the Earth to the moon. By reflecting light from an Earth-based source off the moon and measuring the back-and-forth time of transit, scientists determined that the moon is approximately 3.84 x108 m from the Earth. Determine the time it takes light to travel from Earth to the moon and back.

## Habits of an Effective Problem Solver

• Read the problem carefully and develop a mental picture of the physical situation. If necessary, sketch a simple diagram of the physical situation to help you visualize it.
• Identify the known and unknown quantities and record in an organized manner, often times they can be recorded on the diagram itself. Equate given values to the symbols used to represent the corresponding quantity (e.g., v = 3.00x108 m/s, λ = 554 nm, f = ???).
• Use physics formulas and conceptual reasoning to plot a strategy for solving for the unknown quantity.
• Identify the appropriate formula(s) to use.
• Perform substitutions and algebraic manipulations in order to solve for the unknown quantity.

## Read About It!

Get more information on the topic of Light Waves at The Physics Classroom Tutorial.

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