I'm a newbie here so have mercy.
I'm studying electromagnetic waves. This is the propagation of energy via the vibration of charged particles, as I understand it.
A charged particle could be like a proton, which has a positive charge. So I'm imagining a simplified "universe" that just exists along a two dimensional line, a long string of protons.
You can send energy from one end of this space to the other by vibrating this string of charged particles. Maybe this could be done by "lifting" one proton at one end of space, and that would effect the next proton along the string in a similar way, only less so, to create a wave.
You can move your end of space up and down as fast as you'd like. If you move it slowly, you create long waves (from crest to crest). If you move your proton at your end quickly, you produce short waves.
But no matter how quickly or slowly you lift your proton up and down, the wave you create (either longish or shortish) will always reach the other end of space at the same time. In other words, you can't control how fast your wave travels through space, you can only control the shape of the wave itself. The energy transmitted always travels the same speed (C, the speed of light).
Lift your proton up and down slowly, and you produce a radio wave. Lift it up and down really quickly, and you'll produce an x-ray wave. Lift it up and down somewhere in the middle, and you get a light wave.
Here's one problem I'm struggling with. If we can see light emitted from stars that are light years away from us, that must mean that every part of space along that line of sight is full of charged particles right?
If that's so, what are these charged particles? Is space full of particles in every direction, in every place? They aren't protons and electrons right, maybe more elementary charged particles like quarks?
So space isn't empty, it's absolutely jam packed with charged particles. The "fabric" of space time is "made of something," and that something must be charged either positive or negative.
Is this a correct line of thinking, or am I missing some fundamental idea here? Thanks for your help.