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

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Why does light change direction when it travels through glass?

This was explained to me many years ago, by a physics teacher, with the following analogy: "If someone on the beach wants to reach someone else that is in the water, they will try to travel as much ...
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2answers
219 views

What symmetry is associated with conservation of Lipkin's zilch?

The 'zilch' of an electromagnetic field is the tensor $$ Z^{\mu}_{\ \ \ \nu\rho}=^*\!\!F^{\mu\lambda}F_{\lambda\nu,\rho}-F^{\mu\lambda}\,{}^*\!F_{\lambda\nu,\rho} \tag1 $$ given in terms of the ...
12
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3answers
981 views

What is meant by the temperature of the CMB?

This is what I commonly read: The CMB came to existence when atoms where formed and photons weren't constantly absorbed anymore. In other words, the universe became "transparent". Because of the ...
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3answers
1k views

Can the speed of light become complex inside a metamaterial?

The speed of light in a material is defined as $c = \frac{1}{\sqrt{\epsilon \mu}}$. There are metamaterials with negative permittivity $\epsilon < 0$ and permeability $\mu < 0$ at the same time. ...
11
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1answer
292 views

How do higher-order optical chiralities look like?

The optical chirality of the electromagnetic field is a conserved quantity, analogous to the energy density, linear momentum density, and angular momentum density, which describes how chiral the EM ...
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4answers
2k views

Is it possible to shield a camera so as to record from the inside of a running microwave oven?

Would it be possible to create shielding for a camera, allowing it record food being cooked from the vantage point of the inside of a consumer microwave oven without the camera being damaged? ...
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5answers
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Why are electromagnetic waves called waves even though they don't travel through a medium?

If waves are defined as the oscillation of a medium, why are electromagnetic waves called waves as they do not need a medium to travel through?
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2answers
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Is the de Broglie wavelength of a photon equal to the EM wavelength of the radiation?

Is the de Broglie (matter) wavelength $\lambda=\frac{h}{p}$ of a photon equal to the electromagnetic wavelength of the radiation? I guess yes, but how come that photons have both a matter wave and an ...
6
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2answers
805 views

Microwave oven + water: dielectric heating or ion drag?

When you place a water or food in a microwave oven, it heats. Which process commits more energy to that: dielectric heating, or ion drag i.e. resistive heating? AFAIK, in distilled water (which is a ...
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2answers
219 views

Is a Perfect/Lossless Mirror possible?

In traditional mirrors, some of the input light is absorbed by atoms in the mirrors surface and are 'lost' as heat, degrading the quality of the reflected image. Could this loss be compensated by an ...
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4answers
2k views

Do Electromagnetic Waves really propagate through continuous Induction?

I've often seen it said that in an Electromagnetic Wave the changing Electric Field component creates the Magnetic Field Component and the changing Magnetic Field Component in turn creates an Electric ...
2
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4answers
740 views

Non-complex proof that the electric and magnetic fields are perpendicular in a plane wave

I'm looking for a proof that the electric and magnetic fields in a plane wave are perpendicular that doesn't invoke complex E and B fields. I haven't been able to find one. If the proof requires ...
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3answers
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In electromagnetic radiation, how do electrons actually “move”?

I've always pictured EM radiation as a wave, in common drawings of radiation you would see it as a wave beam and that had clouded my understanding recently. Illustration on the simplest level: ...
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3answers
1k views

Why use lasers for intense, localized heat instead of some other light source?

Lasers are used in various industrial processes that need intense, localised, heat (3d printers and laser cutters come to mind). My question is: why use lasers? There are many other (cheaper, ...
8
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2answers
710 views

Do human bodies give off a consistent but unique radiation/electromagnetic/energy signature?

Is there any facet of the energy emitted by a human body that is consistent and unique - like a fingerprint, but a signal that could be detected by a remote device?
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4answers
4k 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) ...
7
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2answers
459 views

Measurement of blueshift from Andromeda galaxy

How the blueshift from Andromeda galaxy was measured? Since the measurement of blueshift/redshift has to do with the identification of relative distance of spectral lines how this identification is ...
7
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1answer
982 views

If fields die off proportional to R^2, why does light keep going?

Why does light continue on forever if it was created from some source whose radiation dwindles at a rate of the inverse square of distance. Clearly light can be viewed as an interdependent phenomena, ...
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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 ...
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2answers
1k views

Why is glass much more transparent than water?

There is a related question (Why glass is transparent?) but I am coming at it only from Maxwell's equations. One can determine the skin depth $δ$ for poor conductors like (pure) water and glass using ...
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4answers
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Can anyone explain to me why light is not dispersed into a spectrum through a parallel glass slide, but only through a prism?

The question pretty much sums up what I need to know. Why is it that light only gets dispersed into a spectrum when travelling through two non-parallel sides(like a prism) and not through something ...
5
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1answer
253 views

Is the number of wavelengths of light spanning a distance invariant with respect to spacetime distortion?

I was recently asked by a friend how the expansion of spacetime affects photons. I gave him what I feel is a satisfactory general response, but it got me wondering how, exactly to calculate this ...
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4answers
9k 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, ...
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4answers
5k views

How does radio receives signal from particular station?

When you tune your radio (digital or analog) to receive say 100 MHz frequency and while in the environment there are hundreds of channels everywhere around the radio. How does it chooses to receive ...
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4answers
581 views

Exactly how is the constant measured velocity of light deduced from Maxwell's equation?

For electromagnetic radiation the velocity of propagation is $c = 1/\sqrt{\mu_0 \epsilon_0}$. Since both $\mu_0$ and $\epsilon_0$ do not vary in any inertial frame, then $c$ must be constant in any ...
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2answers
166 views

Is there one all encompassing electromagnetic field? Or are electromagnetic fields separate and individually generated?

Many people have been using very confusing and sometimes contradictory language when describing electromagnetic fields and electromagnetic radiation. It's going to be hard to word this question so ...
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1answer
231 views

Which green spectral line(s) are emitted in a Thomson tube?

Related: What is meant by boiling off electrons in a heater coil? In the Thomson tube we used in our class to produce an electron beam, the lab manual stated that the tube was filled with a low ...
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1answer
717 views

Why electron clouds in atoms don't radiate? [duplicate]

I was reading that Bohr assumed electrons in orbit simply did not radiate, and my professor told me that the actual case is that electrons are clouds of probability. Even so, aren't they still moving ...
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4answers
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Bohr's model of an atom doesn't seem to have overcome the drawback of Rutherford's model

We, as high school students have been taught that-because Bohr's model of an atom assigns specific orbits for electrons-that it is better than Rutherford's model. But what Rutherford failed to explain ...
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1answer
65 views

If EM waves are not physical, positional waves (on a X,Y,Z axis), why does interference pattern appear positional?

I have read that EM waves propagate in straight lines: https://van.physics.illinois.edu/qa/listing.php?id=17699 Wherein the only the electric (E) and magnetic (B) fields to change (or oscillate) at ...
2
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1answer
460 views

why is advanced radiation absent?

the Lienard-Wiechert green functions have future and past null cones of radiation. Maxwell equations allow for a continuous range of mixtures between the retarded and advanced components, but we have ...
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2answers
118 views

Would passing horizontally polarized light through a varying width vertical slit allow you to measure the positional (x) amplitude of light? [duplicate]

I have found closely related questions on StackExchange, but (surprisingly) not this exact question. Seems some answers say individual photons do not have amplitude, only when traveling with other ...
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3answers
894 views

Newtonian Bending of Light?

I ran across THIS Newtonian explanation for the bending of light. Does it have any merit?
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3answers
224 views

Question about intensity of EM waves

For electromagnetic wave if it's reflected from a perfect conductor standing wave can be form. I wonder why Poynting vector can be used to describe the intensity of standing EM wave. (see p.19 of ...
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2answers
361 views

Why doesn't an electromagnetic wave violate conservation of energy?

I'm starting to study electromagnetic waves and as i understand, an electromagnetic wave projects a varying electric field. This electric field can in turn give forces of repulsion/attractions to the ...
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4answers
455 views

Does the speed of medium affect the path of light?

Let's say I shine a laser from a stationary medium into a moving medium (suppose the water is moving very quickly) perpendicular to the interface and back to a stationary medium like this: (Note: ...
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1answer
6k views

Why is black the best emitter?

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

Complex numbers in optics

I have recently studied optics. But I feel having missed something important: how can amplitudes of light waves be complex numbers?
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2answers
755 views

Do gravitational waves slow down as they pass through matter?

I've heard that gravitational waves travel at the speed of light, and have some parallels to electromagnetic waves. EM waves slow down as they pass through matter (speed of light in glass is slower ...
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1answer
349 views

Orbital angular momentum of photon

People talk about orbital angular momentum (OAM) of photons. Is there some physical example that cannot be explained without assuming that photons have non-zero OAM? Does different photons have ...
7
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1answer
7k views

Phase and Group Velocity of Electromagnetic Waves

Moving charges produce oscillating electric and magnetic fields -we have an electromagnetic wave. In terms of moving charges or at the level of charges, what is phase velocity and group velocity of ...
6
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1answer
870 views

The skin effect and the reflectivity of gold

I am simulating a waveguide in COMSOL, a FEM solver. My model looks like this (it is similar to a standard Quantum Cascade Laser geometry): Therefore there is a very thin (30nm) layer of gold ...
6
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6answers
14k views

How many colors exist?

How many "colors" do exist? Our perception: As far as I know, colors are just different frequencies of light. According to wikipedia, we can see wavelengths from about 380 nm und 740 nm. This means ...
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1answer
5k views

Adverse Health Effects of Strong Radio Waves

A while ago, I was hiking near the Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles. When I got to the sign, I found out it was fenced off; with several signs and a security camera promising prompt enforcement. As I was ...
5
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2answers
963 views

How did Lord Rayleigh derive/determine the phase function for his scattering model?

I've been researching the question for quite some time, as I understand it the phase function is actually an approximation due to the particle-wave duality inherent in participating media such as the ...
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1answer
214 views

Finding the energy levels of an electron in a plane perpendicular to a uniform magnetic field

Suppose we have an electron, mass $m$, charge $-e$, moving in a plane perpendicular to a uniform magnetic field $\vec{B}=(0,0,B)$. Let $\vec{x}=(x_1,x_2,0)$ be its position and $P_i,X_i$ be the ...
5
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2answers
456 views

How long do reflections take?

How long does it take for a photon to be reflected? Starting with the photon being absorbed by some atom to the point it's reemitted? And what's the same point with pressure waves, like sound?
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2answers
255 views

Huygen's principle in curved spacetimes

Does Huygen's principle hold in even dimensional (2m+1,1) curved spacetimes, or are there certain necessary conditions for it to hold? In other words, if I have Cauchy data for a field satisfying the ...
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3answers
328 views

How much of the universes mass is bound up in photons traveling between stars?

I was watching a Scott Manley video on youtube and he mentioned that the Sun was loosing 4 million tons of mass a second as it converts to energy. With a few trillion trillion stars also converting ...
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2answers
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Frequency and wavelength of photons

I try to better understand how electromagnetic radiation works. So I have some questions. If an antenna emits at 100MHz (the charges on the antenna oscillate at 100MHz) what frequency will have the ...