God is Light – and while this is by no means an
adequate definition of Divine Being, it is true that the
infinitude of Light approaches about as near as the finite
mind of man can hope to come in an understanding of His
The sun of our solar system is the brightest light
which is evident to our sense of vision, and of course it is
also much more than that, acting as the very sustainer of
all life on earth. For
this reason it was often worshipped by the ancients, its
radiance appearing as a perfect symbol for the Mediator who
functions between natural man and the great Invisible Light
and Being of God.
The sun is sometimes called the great Healing
Benefactor, assisting generously in the restoration of
health to those who have gotten off-balance.
Persons with most types of illness, who are not at a
crucial stage, are encouraged to spend some time in the
sunshine each day, making sure to exercise moderation and
good judgment, to measure the time thus spent, for one must
avoid overexposure to its powerful rays.
We have all experienced the joyous lilt that comes
with morning sunshine, and this does much to lift the
spirits, another important factor in healing, and in
arousing the desire to get better.
What is light physically, and how does one explain it
in simple terms which can be readily understood?
It is so primary in essence that the principles it is
based upon transcend the ordinary experience; but although
no terms are adequate to define it, the nature of light can
be described by enumerating its various properties, as
determined by logic and experimentation.
Such knowledge is still incomplete, but great strides
have been made in the past 350 years.
Particles or Waves?
About 2500 years ago, the Pythagorean school of
By scientific definition, light is one of many different kinds of electromagnetic radiation in the part of the spectrum which includes infrared, visible light, ultraviolet, and x-rays. These light rays all travel at the same rate of speed (in a vacuum), this speed being measured at close to 186,282 miles per second. In a material medium, however, the velocity of light is affected by its wave-length.
one, page 2
All radiations emitted from a luminous body move
through space in perfect rhythmic vibration.
Light is a form of energy traveling through the
universe in waves like those on a body of water; and while
not directly visible as the crests and troughs of waves on
water, their presence can be demonstrated by indirect
The distance between the topmost point of one wave
crest, and that of the crest next to it, is called one wavelength.
Therefore, although the speed of travel is the same
for various types of light, the distance between the wave
crests determines the vibratory rate, called frequency,
or number of vibrations per second at which they oscillate.
Those with higher frequency have move wave crests per
unit of measurement, are spaced closer together, and these
are vibrating faster, though their beams or rays reach the
goal simultaneously with the slower longer waves which are
spaced farther apart. There
is an unimaginable difference in wave-lengths between one
type of electro-magnetic energy and another.
Some idea of vibrations can be illustrated by a long
stretched string. If
it is struck at one end, a hump will form and it will travel
the full length of the string, but the form itself remains.
In waver waves, the quantify remains but the form is
light in free space, the form is unchanged by any object or
refractive medium interrupts this simplicity of
Any wave is a vibrating motion that travels along.
In sound waves this vibration is forward and backward
as the waves go on, but in light waves it is from side to
really quivers or wiggles as light moves along.
Instead, the waves are made up of electrical and
magnetic forces that get stronger and weaker at regular
important thing is that these forces are crosswise to the
way the waves are traveling.
Light waves are about 1/50,000 of an inch in length.
At the other end of the scale, some waves of radio
are more than a mile in length.
Though we tend to choose water waves as a simple
illustration for the measurements of wave lengths, there is,
in fact, quite a difference between the nature of water and
Wave motion appears in almost every branch of physics. Besides water waves, there are also sound waves, light waves, radio waves and other electromagnetic waves. One formulation of the mechanics of atoms and subatomic particles is called wave mechanics.
one, page 3
waves, such as occur in water or a coiled metal spring,
are characterized by the transport of energy through matter
by the motion of the disturbance of that matter, without any
corresponding bulk motion of the matter itself.
It is necessary to have a material medium to transmit
We do not need such a medium however, to transmit electro-magnetic
waves. Light passes freely, for example, through the
near-vacuum of space from the stars.
things to remember about electromagnetic waves:
(See graph below)
The electric and magnetic fields have maxima and
minima at the same times and in the same places, therefore
these variations occur simultaneously in both fields.
The directions of the electric and magnetic fields
are perpendicular to each other and to the direction in
which the waves are moving.
Light waves are therefore transverse waves (i.e. from
side to side).
Nothing material moves in the path of an
electro-magnetic wave. The
only changes are in the electric and magnetic field
The corpuscles of light are like tiny particles of
packaged energy, and are called photons,
or light quanta. The
different colors of light are explained as having photons of
different energy – those of blue light possessing twice
the amount of energy as those of red.
It is also held that the energy of the photons is
directly proportional to the frequency of the light-waves.
For example, while x-rays have a wave-like character,
their higher frequency gives the particles great penetrating
power, allowing them to be used for taking pictures through
matter which is opaque to visible light.
Their higher energy and particle-like nature is
explained by the photon theory.
The Encyclopedia Britannica says:
“According to the present view,
light has a dual nature, such that it may be represented
equally well by waves, or by corpuscles (or photons).
The two are merely complementary aspects of the same
light and matter may behave either as waves or corpuscles.
Lesson one, page 4
has been found that electrons, protons, neutrons and the
other elementary constituents of matter possess wavelike
The light arising from an atom has a spherical wave
When light strikes on an atom, it causes electrons to
re-emit light. The
quality of this scattered light will depend upon the nature
of the atoms, as well as on the source of light.
The compounding effect of a number of atoms produces
a mixture of light reaction as it strikes the atoms.
The most primitive example of scattering is the light
in the sky, where light from the sun will have scattered
through as broad path of atoms between itself and the
observer, the atoms unsystematic and irregular in placement.
In working with crystals, whose atoms are in orderly
position, the light is focused according to specified
Beams and Rays
A narrow path of light is usually called a beam of
flashlight or a searchlight throws a beam.
If the beam is made much narrower, it amounts to a
ray. To show how
light moves from one place to another, one might draw a
bundle of rays of light which could be thought of as tiny
arrows moving through space.
This bundle again would be called a beam of light.
They are a combination of electric and magnetic
forces traveling along together at enormous speed.
In one short second light travels fast enough to more
than circle the globe seven times.
When light goes through a transparent substance, such
as glass or water, it is slowed down.
It can travel only about two-thirds as fast through a
piece of glass as it can through empty space or air, and
about three-quarters as fast through water as through air.
This slowing down is important, as it makes it
possible for us to bend beams of light, and thus to make
prisms, lenses, eye-glasses, telescopes, microscopes,
cameras and other devices that help us to see better.
For all practical purposes, light travels in a
straight line, until it becomes deflected by striking a
medium of different density, whereupon it will change its
velocity and direction.
However, there is a variance from straight line paths
too fine for the eye to detect.
For Father Paul stated that “light rays travel in a
curved line, due to the action of gravity, or the
When light strikes a reflective
medium, such as a mirror, a pool of water, or any other
surface, the ray will bounce off in the opposite direction
at exactly the same degree of angle as that from which it
came. Light may
bounce in many ways, but it always follows this simple rule:
The angle of incidence (or approach) is always equal to the angle of refraction (or departure).” A ray beamed at right angles to a surface will only reflect back into itself.”
When a light ray moves from one substance to another
so that its speed is changed, the ray changes direction.
This is called refraction.
There are some objects which do not reflect light,
but permit it to pass through, while slowing it down
somewhat, according to the density of the object.
Water, which is denser than air, will slow the light
velocity by about one-fourth, while glass which is more
dense, will slow its speed of travel by one-third.
One can observe the changed effect in water, by
dangling an object partially below and partially above the
Light directed head-on at a medium such as glass will
not deflect or bend the ray of light.
It will pass straight through.
In order for refraction to occur, light must strike
the medium at an angle other than 90°.
Thus the spectrum colors reach the edge of the
surface in different time sequence, so they are
“surprised” into manifesting one by one in the rainbow
colors of the spectrum.
Further discussion of such terms as double
refraction, diffraction and polarization might tend to cloud
the issue with non-essentials for some, while others with a
scientific bent of mind can gain a great deal by studying
any good encyclopedia, and the experiments made with light.