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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

9
votes
4answers
5k views

Radio antennas that are much shorter than the wavelength

From my limited experience with ham radio when I was a kid, I expect transmitting and receiving antennas to have lengths that are on the same order of magnitude as the wavelength, and in fact I recall ...
8
votes
1answer
116 views

Detailed form of light waves in vacuum and how to test it experimentally?

Consider a light wave in vacuum. Do the $\vec{B}$ and $\vec{E}$ fields have to be orthogonal to each other? Since you can add constants to a solution to Maxwell's equation it doesn't seem neccesary ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Why is it hard to detect a black hole

I've read in some texts that we can't directly observe a black hole in space because not even light can escape from its gravity. Some of the indirect observational methods mentioned are, gravitational ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

What’s the relationship between thermal radiation and Johnson thermal noise?

All objects above absolute zero emit radiation due to random collisions between the atoms they are made of. The spectrum of radiation emitted varies according to the temperature of the object, I ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Why is the photon emitted in the same direction as incoming radiation in Laser?

When an atom “lases” it always gives up its energy in the same direction and phase as the incoming light. Why does this happen? How can this be explained? How does the photon generated because of ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

What IS reflection?

How does quantum electrodynamics actually explain HOW reflection occurs on a microscopic scale? Note that Feynman's QED lecture series/book is not sufficient, as he only assumes that light DOES ...
5
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?
4
votes
5answers
231 views

Can a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) cause a blackout on Earth and why?

Can a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) cause a blackout on Earth and why is it so what's the relation between electro magnetic radiations and electrical and electronic appliance.what exactly does it do to ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

Why does light in a room not form constructive and destructive interference patterns?

This is something that I have wondered for a long time. How come when I walk around why do I not see random black spots where light has collided destructively and bright spots where it has collided ...
4
votes
4answers
794 views

What is the experimental evidence that light is an electromagnetic wave?

Do we have any experimental evidence to confirm that light is an electromagnetic wave? Or is it confirmed simply by Maxwell's equations showing a similarity in speed?
3
votes
2answers
21k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
167 views

Does waving a magnet around create light?

If I wave around a bar magnet, the magnetic field in the space around it changes. Is this enough to go through the whole speed of light derivation implying that the motion creates an electromagnetic ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Exciting Surface Plasmon-Polaritons with Grating Coupling

I'm very new the topic of SPPs and have been trying to understand this particular method of exciting surface plasmons using a 1D periodic grating of grooves, with distance $a$ between each groove. If ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

A two-level system absorbs a detuned photon. Where does the extra energy go?

Let's consider simple two-level system with frequency gap of $\omega_0$ between ground and excited state. Now, when we turn on external electromagnetic field with frequency $\omega < \omega_0$, ...
1
vote
3answers
9k views

Prove EM Waves Are Transverse In Nature

Why we say that EM waves are transverse in nature? I have seen some proofs regarding my question but they all calculate flux through imaginary cube. Here is My REAL problem that I can't here imagine ...
1
vote
1answer
849 views

What does a light wave look like (3d model)

What does a light wave look like? The only models I can seem to find online are 2D waves, they just look like sin() graphs. I have seen the models of the two components of "light waves" (electric ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

If gravitational waves exist are they technically just another form of light/electromagnetic wave?

I would imagine a gravitational wave would have very similar characteristics to electromagnetic wave, what kind of differences are there?
15
votes
4answers
2k views

Can light waves cause beats?

My question is pretty brief. When two sound waves of nearly same frequencies interfere, we get beats. But, I have not observed something like that happening in the case of light. In fact, most of the ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the relationship between Faraday cage mesh size and attenuation of cell phone reception signals?

This is related to the question how can electromagnetic waves reach a cell phone in faraday cage?, where in the answer it was stated that the holes (=size of the mesh) would need to be smaller than ...
9
votes
1answer
9k views

Why is black the best emitter?

Why are emitters colored black better emitters than other colors? Why is white a worse emitter?
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Should a Faraday cage block a radio's signal?

Today, I tried creating a very basic Faraday cage by surrounding a radio with two baking trays made out of iron. It didn't seem to affect the radio's signal (AM was being used, not FM). In theory, ...
3
votes
1answer
112 views

Electromagnetic Radiation of Charged particles

This question is motivated by similar one. If an accelerated point charge $q$ radiates with power $W$ then I assume the same particle with charge $-q$ will radiate with the same rate $W$. Now what if ...
3
votes
1answer
7k views

Where is the amplitude of electromagnetic waves in the equation of energy of e/m waves? [duplicate]

Does the amplitude of the photon oscillations always stay constant and if it is not - what are the physical differences between the photon with higher amplitude in comparison to the one with the less ...
2
votes
2answers
377 views

Is the wobbly rope depiction of a radio wave inherently wrong? And how do vectors of parallel waves align with each other?

I don't have a scientific education, yet I'm scientifically curious. Among other things, I'm struggling to understand the nature of electromagnetic waves. What I have recently realized is that the ...
1
vote
1answer
111 views

What is the nature of the magnetic fields? [closed]

In this question, I am hoping to find out if there is an explanation to the magnetic hidden forces. In other words, what causes these fields? Is there any suggested theory, or any confirmed ones ? ...
1
vote
1answer
135 views

What is a wavelength of an EM wave physically?

This might be a silly question given I am a physics undergrad, but I was suddenly confused. Usually when EM hit a gap they diffract through the gap. But if the gap is too small, diffraction can't take ...
1
vote
1answer
227 views

Do electromagnetic fields gravitate?

It's well known that electromagnetic fields contains energy but do they gravitate ? When we talk about the composition of the universe it's now accepted that the 74 % is dark energy , the 22 % is ...
0
votes
5answers
116 views

How is the electromagnetic field made?

I know that an electric field is created by a particle with a charge and that a magnetic field is created by a moving charge but how do they combine to make a electromagnetic field?
7
votes
1answer
5k views

What is the meaning of this “let there be light” joke?

Someone across the restaurant is wearing this shirt, and I certainly don't get it. Update Related: What does this quote about the four dimensional divergence of an antisymmetric tensor mean?
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Why doesn't the magnetic field polarize when polarizing light?

If the magnetic field doesn't polarize does it follow the electric field path of propagation? or does it vanish?
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there something special in the visible part of electromagnetic spectrum?

I always wondered how much information we get from color. Things we see have different colors; edible products change color when began to spoil so we have a notion what color a fresh product should ...
4
votes
1answer
218 views

Why is there an emission of gamma rays?

When a spontaneous radioactive reaction happens, there is an emission of gamma rays (in most cases) What causes this emission?
4
votes
1answer
200 views

How does the Cosmic Microwave Background give us information about the Big Bang?

I was reading about CMB after this new breakthrough last week and I could not figure this out. The CMB did not exist before the epoch of Last Scattering. They were just photons which were formed at ...
4
votes
2answers
778 views

Mirror problem of radiation pressure

If two perfect mirrors are placed facing one another and they are in proximity, and photons (don't ask me how) are traveling between them and toward one of them, what is to keep the radiation pressure ...
3
votes
2answers
229 views

When light is only considered as a particle, is it still considersed to be oscillating electic and magetic waves?

I have my head around wave-particle duality, however people tend to refer to light as either a wave or a particle in different situations. If I were to consider light as a particle am I still ...
3
votes
0answers
148 views

Dispersion of light in metals and the plasma frequency

I've been reading about the dielectric function and plasma oscillations recently and I encountered the following dispersion relation for EM waves in metals or in plasma (Is it correct to treat those ...
2
votes
1answer
409 views

How is it possible that we see light from shortly after the big bang?

How can astronomers see light from shortly after the big bang? How did we get "here" before the light that emanated from our "creation"?
2
votes
3answers
2k views

How is electromagnetic wave variation distributed in space?

Imagine an electromagnetic wave (a monochromatic one for example). The electric field amplitude and its variations travel in the propagation direction. So, if there really exists a propagation ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Difference in velocity of light in change in medium [duplicate]

It is often seen that according to physics the light changes it's velocity according to the medium through which it is traveling. So can it be explained that why so happen?
1
vote
2answers
740 views

Why do waves diffract?

There have already been a lot of questions on this site on diffraction but I still believe this one might be slightly different. In electromagnetic waves, diffraction and any other phenomenon of wave ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

Does slowing light violate relativity?

Last year Scottish scientists managed to slow down photons in vacuum by changing their shape. Does this violate the special theory of relativity?
-2
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
67
votes
8answers
83k views

Why does a remote car key work when held to your head/body?

I was trying to unlock my car with a keyfob, but I was out of range. A friend of mine said that I have to hold the transmitter next to my head. It worked, so I tried the following later that day: ...
66
votes
3answers
9k views

Why doesn't the motion of a car affect the frequency of radio stations?

When we go in a car and tune to an FM radio station, why doesn't our motion disturb the frequency? Like the Doppler effect?
23
votes
5answers
2k views

Can a photon get emitted without a receiver?

It is generally agreed upon that electromagnetic waves from an emitter does not have to connect to a receiver, but how can we be sure this is a fact? The problem is that we can never observe non ...
14
votes
2answers
28k views

Why is Near Field Communication (NFC) range limited to about 20cm?

Near Field Communication (NFC) operates at 13.56 MHz. Near Field is the region situated at a distance r << λ λ = c/f ...
25
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it (practically) possible for a large building to be a Faraday cage?

In my sophomore year of high school, my P.E. teachers kept on complaining about how phones didn't have a network connection in our gym, regardless of model, service provider, etc. A couple of feet ...
21
votes
3answers
2k views

Can light exist in $2+1$ or $1+1$ spacetime dimensions?

Spacetime of special relativity is frequently illustrated with its spatial part reduced to one or two spatial dimension (with light sector or cone, respectively). Taken literally, is it possible for $...
14
votes
2answers
516 views

Do accelerated charges radiate or not?

This questions has been asked all over the net (here included) but I can't find a satisfactory answer or discussion. Some say it does not radiate if the acceleration is caused by a uniform gravity ...
28
votes
6answers
3k views

Is a suit that hides a soldier's heat signature fundamentally possible?

I recently played "Crysis", a game where the protagonist wears a suit that allows the player to hide both himself and his heat signature. Then I watched Iron Man 3, where a kid suggests that Tony ...