Propagating solutions to Maxwell’s equations in classical electromagnetism and real photons in quantum electrodynamics. A superset of thermal-radiation.

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26
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5answers
14k views

Why glass is transparent?

Once I asked this question from my teacher and he replied "because it passes light", "and why it passes light" I asked and he said "because it is transparent". Same question again, Why glass is ...
6
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2answers
2k views

Are regular light bulbs better for the eyes than CFLs or “tube lights”?

I've heard that regular light bulbs with a filament are better for the eyes. Is the spectrum of one worse than the other? If so, are there any regulations for their use in industrial settings for ...
5
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4answers
790 views

Gravitational lensing or cloud refraction?

My current understanding of gravitational lensing follows When a star or other massive body passes between us and another star, the phenomenon generally labeled 'gravitational lensing' occurs. The ...
4
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3answers
462 views

Young's experiment or why the light can't be described as a particle [closed]

Who hasn't heard about the double-slit experiment? It figures in any book of quantum physics. But there is something no one can explain to me : I understand why the light cannot be described only as a ...
2
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1answer
761 views

What is the linear momentum of an EM wave in a medium?

In free space, the linear momentum density of an EM wave is given by the Poynting vector $\vec S$ over the speed of light squared, $\vec g=\frac{\vec S}{c^2}$. In a medium, $S$ is generally not ...
1
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1answer
376 views

Double-slit experiment with alternating on-off switch

Suppose we perform a double-slit experiment with a detector placed at a position of minimum intensity (maximum destructive interference), off-center where the path lengths differ by half a wavelength. ...
16
votes
4answers
847 views

Redshifting of Light and the expansion of the universe

So I have learned in class that light can get red-shifted as it travels through space. As I understand it, space itself expands and stretches out the wavelength of the light. This results in the light ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

For an accelerated charge to radiate, is an electromagnetic field as the source necessary?

For an accelerated charge to radiate, must an electromagnetic field be the source of the force? Would it radiate if accelerated by a gravitational field?
-2
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4answers
2k views

Electro Magnetic Waves can cause matter displacement?

After watching this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1jIjx0XF_U The experience is made with a speaker that generates a sound wave or mechanic wave. Can you use this to establish a link to ...
1
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1answer
1k views

What determines how much light is reflected and refracted?

I'm currently working on a physics-based puzzle game with light refraction. I've read about the reflection/refraction incidence ratio, and how it's the proportion of the sine values of the angle of ...
30
votes
4answers
8k views

If both radio waves and gamma rays can travel through walls

and they are on opposite ends of the electromagnetic spectrum, then why can't light travel through walls which is right in the middle of the spectrum? This question has already been asked here. ...
5
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1answer
834 views

Angular momentum and EM wave

Is there any sense in saying that circularly polarized EM waves have angular momentum?
-4
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3answers
364 views

Could a bubble of photons make a spaceship massless? [closed]

I'm not sure how theoretically possible this is but my question is... If we could somehow make a perfect bubble of photons (a massless bubble) and put a spaceship inside it, could it therefore ...
3
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3answers
2k views

Low frequency electromagnetic waves

Some frequencies of electromagnetic waves are used for transmission of information, like radiowaves, microwaves, light, but some not.. What about Low Frequencies?: Perhaps low frequencies aren't ...
32
votes
4answers
3k views

Do two beams of light attract each other in general theory of relativity?

In general relativity, light is subject to gravitational pull. Does light generate gravitational pull, and do two beams of light attract each other?
3
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2answers
2k views

What is the effect of polarization on diffraction by a narrow slit?

Consider the well known demonstration of diffraction by a narrowing slit. (See for example the demonstration at the 30 minute mark of this lecture at MIT by Walter Lewin) It is my (possibly mistaken) ...
2
votes
2answers
901 views

What type of electromagnetic wave can pass through silver or aluminium standard mirror?

I have been told (not sure if it is true), that mirror (and glass) do not allow to pass the electromagnetic signals of mobile signals. but for a standard mirror what type of wave can pass through ...
3
votes
1answer
10k views

How does a honeycomb grid affect the travel of light?

A light modifier that is commonly used in studio photography is a honeycomb grid. It narrows the beam of light to a circle with soft edges, as it can be seen here: My question is: how is this ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Can we transport energy over infinite distances through vacuum using light?

I know that light (or electromagnetic radiation in general) attenuates in intensity as the square of the distance it travels. Why does it attenuate? Are the photons being scattered by the medium ...
2
votes
3answers
792 views

Light bending by black holes

In the center of our milky way, it is assumed that a black hole exists with a mass of $\approx 4\times 10^6$ times our sun's mass. How much light bending (in degrees) would arise for stars that are in ...
3
votes
2answers
12k views

How is the speed of light calculated?

How is the speed of light calculated? My knowledge of physics is limited to how much I studied till high school. One way that comes to my mind is: if we throw light from one point to another (of known ...
29
votes
3answers
4k views

Can I use an antenna as a light source?

Can I use a normal metal antenna to emit visible light?
6
votes
1answer
486 views

Low frequency electromagnetic waves in General Relativity

I am becoming familiar with the Geometric Optics approximation in General Relativity which (to summarise) says that EM waves follow null geodesics under the geometric optics approximation. In the ...
8
votes
5answers
6k views

Interference of polarized light

Does polarized light interfere?
4
votes
1answer
475 views

What is the effect of ice on an antenna?

A local FM radio station transmitting at 89.3 MHz recently announced that it would be running at 50% power due to freezing weather and a forecast of ice accumulation, as "when ice is forecast ... it ...
5
votes
4answers
7k views

Light emitted by an object according to its temperature

According to this picture the light emitted by an object depends on its temperature. That makes perfect sense when we heat a metal. As its temperature raises we see it red at first, then orange, ...
10
votes
7answers
11k views

Electromagnetic fields vs electromagnetic radiation

As I understand, light is what is more generally called "electromagnetic radiation", right? The energy radiated by a star, by an antenna, by a light bulb, by your cell phone, etc.. are all the same ...
1
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1answer
232 views

Cellphone RF radiation

First, what determines the strength of an RF signal? Why is it said that a cellphones radiates more energy when the reception from signal tower is lower in strength. Why is it said that RF gets ...
19
votes
4answers
2k views

Newton's rings: What causes the other rings?

This is from an experiment we did in physics class. We shone a sodium light at a convex lens on top of a sheet of glass - and this image was captured by a USB microscope. I know what causes the main ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Reconciling refraction with particle theory and wave theory

I have searched the web for good answers to why refraction occurs when light moves from one medium to another with different density. I have limited background in physics and want to know if there is ...
2
votes
1answer
222 views

Can one make an axial mode circularly polarized radio wave filter with purely conducting materials?

Can one construct a filter out of nothing but pure metal that will pass only right circular polarized radiation and reflect left circularly polarized radiation? What would it look like? A helical ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

gauss vs mW/cm^2: same thing?

A friend of mine is concerned about electromagnetic field negatively affecting their health and got a "DMF meter" to measure the field strength in their house in units of milliGauss. They are trying ...
2
votes
6answers
1k views

What's the problem with solar energy?

What "breakthrough" from a theoretical point of view is needed for solar energy to become feasible energy alternative?
6
votes
3answers
4k views

Do mirrors increase the amount of light in a room?

So if you have a light bulb in a room, and you had a tool to measure the amount of light that's in the room, then let's assume the amount of light only caused by the bulb is "1" If you place a mirror ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Impedance formula for an edge coupled differential stripline in an asymmetrical stackup?

I've been searching and have not been able to find a formula for calculating the impedance of differential lines on inner layers where the dielectric above and below it is not symmetrical. I've seen ...
7
votes
3answers
4k views

Properties of the photon: Electric and Magnetic field components

Consider an electromagnetic wave of frequency $\nu$ interacting with a stationary charge placed at point $x$. My question concerns the consistency of two equally valid quantum-mechanical descriptions ...
3
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2answers
393 views

Magnetron limits

What are the practical limits on generated wavelength in a Magnetron? We know that Magnetrons could be used efficiently for generating microwaves for water heating, or for radar applications, but ...
5
votes
4answers
5k views

Can light emitting diodes be used to generate UV wavelengths?

I don't know much about light-emitting diodes, but I imaging if you had a panel of RGB diodes you could produce any wavelength of color within the visible light spectrum. However, if I also wanted to ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

What happens to light after it enters an eye

What happens to the light [energy] after it enters an eye and hits the rods and cones? I presume the energy becomes electrical, and it must be near 100% perfect, else our eyes would heat up? Or am I ...
19
votes
10answers
13k views

Why and how is the speed of light in vacuum constant, i.e., independent of reference frame?

I was told that the Galilean relative velocity rule does not apply to the speed of light. No matter how fast two objects are moving, the speed of light will remain same for both of them. How and why ...
60
votes
9answers
53k views

If photons have no mass, how can they have momentum?

As an explanation of why a large gravitational field (such as a black hole) can bend light, I have heard that light has momentum. This is given as a solution to the problem of only massive objects ...
1
vote
1answer
206 views

Electromagnetic weapons: power?

I essentially have three questions concerning weapons based on EM waves or more generally. Focusing on the weapons using radio-waves and/or micro-waves, what power do these types of weapons need to ...
8
votes
4answers
3k views

Can radio waves be formed into a pencil beam?

Laser beams are said to have high "spatial coherence". This means that the beam is highly concentrated even at long distances (low spread). Can this be achieved with radio waves (much longer waves) ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

How large is the smallest object that can be detected at a given wavelength?

What is the cross section of the smallest object that can be detected with say visible light ($\lambda$ ~380 - 750 nm) or X - band radar ($\lambda$ ~20 - 50 mm). Does the object need to have one side ...
17
votes
5answers
2k views

Home experiments using wireless LAN or mobile phones about electromagnetism?

Are there any nice experiments using wireless LAN access points or routers or mobile phones to demonstrate physical features of electromagnetic fields, especially em-waves? More precisely I am ...
1
vote
2answers
345 views

Creation of the Electromagnetic Spectrum [closed]

After seeing this image: http://mynasadata.larc.nasa.gov/images/EM_Spectrum3-new.jpg And reading this: "The long wavelength limit is the size of the universe itself, while it is thought that the ...
3
votes
3answers
681 views

Light emission spectrum units

Do someone knows the units of the spectra provided here ? It seems obvious enough that it's said nowhere, but even Wikipedia and other sites are quite blurry on this point. So, is it power ($W$), ...
39
votes
5answers
3k views

Scattering of light by light: experimental status

Scattering of light by light does not occur in the solutions of Maxwell's equations (since they are linear and EM waves obey superposition), but it is a prediction of QED (the most significant Feynman ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

How can I create hindrances to radio waves?

How can I create hindrances to radio waves?
11
votes
3answers
13k views

Why do lightbulbs continue to glow after the light is turned off?

I've noticed that whenever I turn the lamp off in my room at night, the lightbulb seems to continue to glow for a minute or so after that. It's not bright though; the only way I even notice it is if ...