# Tagged Questions

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

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### 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 ...
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### How can I determine transmission/reflection coefficients for light?

When light rays reflect off a boundary between two materials with different indices of refraction, a lot of the sources I've seen (recently) don't discuss the relation between the amplitude (or ...
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### Why is the bottom part of a candle flame blue?

What’s the explanation behind the bottom part of a candle flame being blue? I googled hard in vain. I read this. I don’t understand how it’s explained by the emission of excited molecular radicals in ...
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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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### Why is it necessary for an object to have a bigger size than the wavelength of light in order for us to see it?

I keep hearing this rule that an object must have a bigger size than the wavelength of light in order for us to see it, and though I don't have any professional relationship with physics, I want to ...
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### 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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### 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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### What is light, and how can it travel in a vacuum forever in all directions at once without a medium?

I know there are many questions that are similar (maybe identical?). I am not a physicist nor a student - I am just interested in physics and have been watching many physics channels on youtube ...
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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 ...
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### 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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### 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 ...
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### accelerated charge in QED

Classical electromagnetism says an accelerated charge would radiate. Is this understood in QED? Is there QED derivation of Larmor's formula?
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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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, ...
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### Can the question of a gravitationally accelerated charge radiation be tested experimentally?

I know that the question of radiation from a gravitationally accelerated charge has been discussed extensively at Does a charged particle accelerating in a gravitational field radiate?. Yet the ...
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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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 ...
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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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 ...
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### How to understand “accelerating charge radiate” using intuition? [duplicate]

While I know that accelerating charges produces EM radiations (at least in lots of cases), most discussion about this matter only focuses on which kind of situation will emit EM radiations and which ...
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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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### 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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### What makes the radiation behind slits coherent?

Have a look on the sketch To get such a intensity distribution of light behind a slit we presuppose that all the light that moves on the two lines is coherent; of the same wavelength AND the same ...
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### Refraction: Energy flow, tunneling and Evanescent EM waves

In the full internal reflection case where we have a refracted evanescent wave, If another object is nearby, then we could have wave tunneling phenomenon(frustrated total internal reflection). I am ...
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### 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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### 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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### 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 ...
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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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### What is meant by infinite wavelength?

1#When an electromagnetic wave propagates in a plasma, with increase in plasma density the phase velocity ($v=\frac{\omega}{k}$) of wave increases. So at cut-off point $k=0$, and phase velocity ...
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### 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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### 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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### Newtonian Bending of Light?

I ran across THIS Newtonian explanation for the bending of light. Does it have any merit?
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### 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 http:...
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### Is the frequency of light restricted?

What are the factors that limit the frequency of light? Can it have wavelengths ranging between zero and infinity?
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### 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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### 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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### 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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### 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 ...
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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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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 ...