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Why do light rays travel in straight lines?


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Answered 2010-09-19 14:39:28

It does not, it travels as a wave


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light rays only travel in straight lines.

In straight lines (well, "geodesic" might be a better term), and at the speed of light in the medium they're in.

Light Rays travel in straight paths as transverse waves. It needs no medium to travel along.

the travel in straight lines because of the atomsphe

nothing they travel in straight line

Light rays travel in straight paths as transverse waves. It needs no medium to travel along.

To remember this think of you are looking directly at a building a car crash happens behind this building. You know this from the sound produced that can travel in all directions past the building. You cannot see it because as light dose not bend under normal circumstances and will only travel in straight lines. Even if reflected using a combination of mirrors it still travels in straight lines.

Because light rays travel in straight line just like a ruler/scale. We can represent it with anything which is straight like a ruler...

If you are referring to a situation in which light is reflected from water back into the air, then the light rays are "polarized." All light rays travel in straight lines, but polarized light is light that enters a medium from many directions, but are exited (reflected or refracted or merely cut out, like in sunglasses) in one direction.

Sort of. They travel in geodesic curves. It just so happens that except near large concentrations of mass, geodesic curves are close enough to straight lines that you can generally treat them as if they were straight lines. Near very massive objects, geodesics get bent, which is why gravitational lensing works. The Sun is massive enough to bend space detectably, and people making very careful measurements have actually observed these curved geodesics affecting light rays travelling very near the Sun.

Light ray and gamma ray both travel in a straight line.

Curiously enough, this is true by construction. A straight line (also known as a geodesic) is defined as the trajectory of light, so light itself travels in straight rays by definition. Such straight lines are also the lines of least distance. You can get a feeling why this is so by considering a light ray. Imagine it traveling from some point A to some other point B. Now since the straight line is the shortest way from A to B, light must travel this path because otherwise it would be possible to take the shortest way yourself (at a speed slower than the speed of light) and arrive at B before light, thus traveling faster than light itself!

Gamma rays travel exactly the speed of light because gamma rays are light

They don't. Well, they do in flat spacetime in the absence of an external force, but it's not a peculiar property of cathode rays; everything does that.

when light rays break from a cubic crystal and they form different colours in straight lines.

*"Ray Model of Light- Model representing light as straight lines, called rays, that show the directioln in which light travels" *Pearson Investigating Science 10

Because the light doesn't "spread out" like in a light bulb. Instead, the light rays goes in straight lines, meaning it is concentrated, therefore intense.

Gamma rays travel at the speed of light because both light and gamma rays are variants of the same thing: electromagnetic radiation.

Ibn al-Haytham (965 in Basra - c. 1040 in Cairo) a Muslim scientist, proved that rays of light travel in straight lines, and carried out various experiments with lenses, mirrors,refraction, and reflection. He was also the first to reduce reflected and refracted light rays into vertical and horizontal components, which was a fundamental development in geometric optics.Book of Optics.(Ibn al-Haytham)

light travels in straight paths called rays

If light rays did not travel through space there would be no way for them to reach Earth.

On a diagram that include light rays, lines with arrows on them to represent the direction of the light rays could be used. Hope that answers your question.

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