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

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4
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2answers
140 views

Strong response to UV radiation despite severe attenuation

Recently, I performed experiments to characterise the ultraviolet-A response in a smartphone camera (with the lens still attached). This question focuses on Figure 2 of my paper "Characterization of a ...
2
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1answer
94 views

Probability density of detection of collinearly emitted photons in two detectors

Update: As proposed by @dmckee, I added equation numbers and improved the display of some equations. The answer by @Trimok inspired me to look at coordinate systems which are not specific to the ...
3
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5answers
246 views

Can light travel slower than the maximum?

First of all, I know that light does indeed travel slower in a medium like air or water, but that's because the photons are bouncing off of the medium's particles and in different directions so the ...
39
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7answers
2k views

Explaining UV radiation to a 6 year old

My (just completed) PhD involved a considerable amount of research involved with the detection of solar UV radiation. This generated quite a bit of interest, especially when I was conducting my ...
3
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2answers
143 views

Characteristic of photons for constant speed

What characteristic of photons causes them to travel with constant speed in all frames of reference? Till the topics I have studied, we always assume this but never got any ideas what can be in the ...
3
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2answers
323 views

Does thin film interference (anti-reflective coating) let more light through?

The theory of an anti-reflective coating is that the reflected light off the coating and the reflected light off the substrate is 180 degrees out of phase, causing destructive interference and ...
2
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2answers
82 views

Does gravity affect radiation incident on the planet?

Just curious ... Known facts: When outside the atmosphere levels of radiation are higher Typically such radiation is CBR, Solar Radiation Question: If the matter of the atmosphere and ...
1
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2answers
548 views

Continuous vs. Discrete Spectra in various materials

I read that the reason solids emit continuous spectra is that they don't have time to let their electrons decay-they are too close together. Given that electrons decay on the order of 100 nanoseconds ...
1
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0answers
37 views

Question about “quadrupole radiation” vector potential formula derivation

I tried to get an expression for $\mathbf A (\mathbf x )$ in quadrupole approximation. After some transformations of Liénard–Wiechert vector potential I got, as in many books, $$ \mathbf A \approx ...
1
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2answers
171 views

Calculate the polarization vector on reflection or refraction from a dielectric interface

I am interested in ray-tracing polarized photons. I have code that works very well for unpolarized light. When a ray hits a dielectric interface the photon is either reflected or refracted by ...
3
votes
3answers
218 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
152 views

Is the color wheel just an optical illusion? [duplicate]

As a kid, I was taught that that blue and yellow make green, yellow and red make orange, and red and blue make purple - forming the subtractive color wheel. As an adolescent I was taught that blue and ...
2
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1answer
154 views

Polar ice caps and thermal radiation

I was reading an article on global warming and it said that the polar ice caps, because they are white, reflect a lot of the sun's radiation. The article also has a picture of some houses in England ...
2
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1answer
95 views

Energy conservation in plane wave

In plane wave the H and E are in phase. So the pointing vector disappears regularly every pi. How is energy conservation validated ? Is it through the uncertainty of energy and time ?
2
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1answer
77 views

electromagnetic interference

If the atmosphere is filled with electromagnetic waves all oscillating at different wavelengths and speeds how is it that they don’t all interfere with each other? For example turning on your light ...
3
votes
1answer
472 views

Decay of metastable state: spontaneous vs. stimulated emission.

I have a question about the upper laser level (the metastable level) in a 3-level laser system. I will call the ground level of the 3-level laser system by "g" and the metastable level by "m". The ...
4
votes
3answers
769 views

2 ways to generate electromagnetic wave

According to Maxwell's equations, accelerating charges emit electromagnetic radiation. According to Quantum physics, heating causes electromagnetic radiation too. These 2 radiations, are they ...
1
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4answers
320 views

Radio antenna producing waves in the visible spectrum

If a radio could produce waves in the visible light spectrum, what would the result be? This is a thought experiment that I've pondered for a few years now. I realize there are a few/many real-world ...
100
votes
1answer
42k views

Why does NASA use gold foil on equipment and gold-coated visors?

I've read several websites about equipment covered with gold foil and astronaut helmet visors are coated with gold. However, their explanations are devoid of almost all physics content. Can someone ...
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2answers
177 views

Is compton scattering only effective by x rayphotons and gamma ray photons

Can Compton scattering work with any other forms types of photons, and why was the the Compton Scattering experiment only done with x ray photons?
2
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0answers
301 views

The physical meaning of electromagnetic wave

What, fundamentally, is an electromagnetic wave? As far as I know, all wave phenomena are derivations of an oscillating processes, e.g. particles vibrating in a medium. I can't imagine a wave process ...
2
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1answer
66 views

What is the intensity of this light?

I am struggling with a derivation that calculates the cross sections for Mie scattering and since the incident light is considered to be a x-polarized plane wave I thought that we would have $$I_i = ...
6
votes
3answers
725 views

If photons carry 1 spin unit, why does visible light seem to have no angular momentum?

Spin 1 silver atoms have a definite spin axis, e.g. up or down along an axis labeled X. This in turn means that they carry angular momentum in an overt, visible fashion. However, spin 1 photons do ...
0
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0answers
21 views

Bound on the wavelength of electromagnetic wave [duplicate]

Can the wavelength of an electromagnetic wave,W, assume any value? If no, why should there be a bound on the wavelength of the electromagnetic waves?
-1
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1answer
115 views

'Push' in a rigid rod travel at speed of sound or speed of light [duplicate]

Two person, $A$ and $B$, each holding one end of a long solid rod. Now person $A$ pushes the rod on one end. Question: Is it correct that the information that the rod has been pushed will travel ...
16
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4answers
495 views

Is the electromagnetic spectrum discrete?

I'm just starting to learn physics and I have a question (that is probably stupid.) I learned that energy levels that the bound electron can have are discrete. I also learned that when an electron ...
2
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1answer
164 views

Is there a way to increase photon energy by decreasing its wavelength?

Can I decrease a photon's wavelength by a medium or a vacuum? Are there other ways of decreasing the wavelength?
0
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2answers
173 views

What type of electromagnetic radiation strikes the Earth's surface the most?

If you can could you lists the types of light from the greatest amount to the least amount (Ex: Visible, Infrared, Violet).
2
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2answers
53 views

Where the extra power comes from?

Suppose we have two radio waveforms each has amplitude of 1, then the total power is 2. Suppose these two waveforms add up some where constructively, then the amplitude become 2, and the total power ...
2
votes
2answers
119 views

Does $E$ cause $B$ or does $B$ cause $E$ in Maxwell's equations?

From the Maxwell's equations we get $$\frac{\partial E}{\partial x} = -\frac{\partial B}{\partial t}$$ and $$\frac{\partial B}{\partial x} = -\mu_0\epsilon_0\frac{\partial E}{\partial t}$$ ...
4
votes
2answers
97 views

Applicability of the concept of voltage in electrodynamic circuits

In electrostatics, we have $$\nabla \times \vec{E} = 0$$. Hence, we can define a scalar potential $V$, where $$\vec{E} = -\nabla V$$. We know from Faraday's law that $$\nabla \times \vec{E} = ...
3
votes
2answers
127 views

Colors of light

White light is always said to contain all the different wavelengths of light. Why, then, can we 'make' new colors simply by adding wavelengths? Is it just a matter of our perception, that, when two ...
19
votes
2answers
621 views

Gravitational slingshot of light using a black hole/massive object

Wikipedia has this page on gravity assists using planets. In some cases this effect was used to accelerate the spacecraft to a higher velocity. This diagram shows this in a very oversimplified manner. ...
2
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0answers
63 views

Mie Scattering for spheres with constant dipole moment

I was wondering whether there exists a theory that describes Mie Scattering for spheres that have a constant dipole moment. Since there are theories that describe Mie scattering in the case of a ...
1
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1answer
153 views

Retarded potential in gravitational field?

Is there a retarded potential concept in gravitational field similar to electromagnetic radiation?
2
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1answer
179 views

Could an oscillator at a high enough frequency produce light instead of radio waves?

Considering that light is in the 400-800 THz range, if you had an electrical oscillator that ran at that frequency connected to an aerial of some sort, would the antenna emit visible light, in the ...
4
votes
1answer
132 views

Light entering in a 0° angle, is there any reflection?

Is there any reflection of light that enters a new medium at a 0° angle, if the electric field is such, that it is completely in the plane of the double layer?
1
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1answer
125 views

Reflection, transmission, absorption…how to calculate them?

I was wondering whether there is an equation that enables me to calculate the reflection, transmission, absorption and polarization, when the electric field everywhere is given? Consider this: You ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

What are the properties of the Electromagnetic wave $E=E_0e^{-i\omega t}$

My question is, whether this definition $E=E_0e^{-i\omega t}$ includes that it is a plane wave, since I am confused by the fact that we do not have any dependence on the position. So about what kind ...
1
vote
1answer
279 views

Can electromagnetic radiation (i.e. photons) produce gravity? [duplicate]

I don't want to play with physical laws in a frivolous way. Assuming that the nature of matter and energy is the same, can a high density of highly energetic photons produce a gravity force? We do ...
1
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3answers
309 views

Can a wave be two dimensional?

I am having a hard time picturing waves, the image that comes to mind is a bobbing device submerged in still water which generates pulses in all directions (similarly in air). Then how can a wave be ...
3
votes
1answer
204 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 ...
3
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2answers
307 views

Electromagnetic Momentum

My book says : The fact that electromagnetic radiation of energy carried momentum was known from classical theory and from the experiments of Nichols and Hull in 1903. This relation is also consistent ...
2
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2answers
107 views

Interaction of coherent X-rays with matter

If we could irradiate a metal or a plasma with a coherent beam of hard X-rays, would the main effect be an ordered oscillation of the electrons like with a classical EM wave, or "compton-style" ...
2
votes
1answer
60 views

Radiation interactions: how is the transition from the “electric” regimen to “particle-like” regimen?

When we study the interaction of the electromagnetic radiation with free electrons we can find two different approaches in the literature: for low frequency (RF, light...) a classical view is used and ...
1
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3answers
415 views

Why does a dielectric have a frequency dependent resistivity?

This question has come about because of my discussion with Steve B in the link below. Related: Why is glass much more transparent than water? For conductors, I can clearly see how resistivity ...
3
votes
1answer
84 views

Does magnetism affect corrosion?

Supposing there is an iron nail that is left to rust, if we compare the time it takes to rust with that of a magnetized iron nail, will there be any difference in the time of corrosion (assuming other ...
6
votes
3answers
140 views

Can visible light be emitted from a non-thermal source?

I was reading about thermal and non-thermal radiation and I was wondering if visible light can be emitted from a non-thermal source?
5
votes
2answers
528 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
110 views

Charge above a conductor; effects due to Lorentz force law for moving charges

Currently working through a practice preliminary examination problem. I have your standard charge situated a distance d from a infinite conductor(lets say in the $\hat{z}$ direction and neglecting ...