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

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71 views

Is it physically realistic to have an electric field and polarisation density but no displacement field?

Given a Lagrangian density that describes a classical dielectric in interaction with the EM field, I found the Euler-Lagrange equations, and in the case of the electric field, worked through to find ...
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3answers
1k 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
2k views

What is the minimum wavelength of electromagnetic radiation?

As a first approximation, I don't see how a wavelength of less than 2 Planck distances could exist. The question is: Are there any other limits that would come into play before that? For example: ...
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0answers
401 views

Smallest Wavelength of light possible? [duplicate]

I was thinking about blue-shifting of light and I couldn't help my self but think about the limits of blue shifting mechanism and since we know energy of a photon is directly proportional to the ...
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1answer
81 views

Absorption of waves in a plasma

Suppose a plasma has characteristic frequency $\omega_p$. Since $$n = \sqrt{\left(1-\frac{\omega_p^2}{\omega^2}\right)} $$ For $\omega<\omega_p$, the refractive index will be imaginary - which ...
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1answer
83 views

Why are laser pulses Sech Squared in temporal shape?

Ultrashort pulses from mode-locked lasers often have a temporal shape which can be described with a squared hyperbolic secant ($\mathrm{sech}^2$) function: $$ P(t)=P_0 \mathrm{sech}^2 \left( ...
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39k views

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

I was trying to unlock my car, 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: Walked away from ...
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128 views

Help understanding Fizeau's calculation of speed of light

While searching for different methods of calculating Speed of light, I came across one of the methods that Fizeau discussed below which I cannot fully understand. In short, in Fizeau’s apparatus, a ...
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1answer
72 views

polarization of a transverse wave travelling in ionosphere with polarization direction perpendicular to earths magnetic field

Assume a transverse electromagnetic wave entering ionosphere such that its Electric field of wave is perpendicular to earths magnetic field. Now, i read that as it will enter plasma, the wave will ...
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1answer
55 views

How did the Huygens probe use EM waves to measure wind speeds on Titan?

In the Wikipedia's article on Huygens spacecraft, it was mentioned that one of the experiments was to measure the wind speeds on Titan by Doppler wind experiment. To quote the exact lines, it was ...
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22 views

Why do we assign an electric field vector to an EM wave when photons have zero charge? [duplicate]

In the standard model photons have no charge. So how can en EM wave be given a quantity of electric field to do work on electrons in say a RF antenna. What excites the electrons? I may have parts of ...
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28 views

Ground influence on 434 MHz radio signal

I have read in a paper that ground acts as reflector for radio signals in 434 MHz band. Why is that the case?
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46 views

How did Rayleigh and Jeans apply the Equipartition of Energy in determining the energy distribution of blackbody - radiation? [duplicate]

I am reading the Ultraviolet Catastrophe and have come across this law. Here , it is written They applied the statistical physics method to the waves by analogy with Maxwell's gas particles using ...
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46 views

Does the total energy in an electromagnetic field depend on the acceleration of the sources?

If I accelerate a charge from rest to some velocity $\vec v$, does the total final electromagnetic energy contained in the field depend upon the acceleration of the charge?
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1answer
46 views

How does the density of states for black-body radiation change with geometry?

If I have a hollow conducting cylinder with another conducting cylinder inside it (as with a coaxial cable), would the density of states of the photons/radiation between the two cylinders be any ...
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0answers
98 views

Is radar cross section the same as scattering cross section?

There is a quantity known as scattering cross section which is given as a function of frequency. It means the ratio of the scattered power by the particle to the ratio of the incident power on the ...
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2answers
3k views

Why do electromagnetic waves oscillate?

I've been considering this question, and found many people asking the same (or something similar) online, but none of the answers seemed to address the core point or at least I wasn't able to make ...
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1answer
52 views

Defining photons

I've read every book for my course and all of them describe photons as wave-packets/"bursts" of the EM wave. I just can't appreciate this view of photons. From what I've gathered on photons: Photons ...
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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 ...
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1answer
164 views

Can light gravitationally affect itself?

Consider a electromagnetic wave in a vacuum. From my understanding of general relativity, The wave has momentum, and thus generates a gravitational field in all directions. The gravitational field ...
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0answers
21 views

Can the granular quantum nature of light be used to engineer a maroscopic optical phenomena?

Today we have optical metamaterials and metasurfaces: materials and surfaces that are made of unit cells with an approximate size of tens of nanometers, that can that interact with light and can have ...
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1answer
40 views

How is spectrum controlled? [closed]

I understand that spectrum is considered a national resource for many governments. It is akin to land, water and other resources. It is also a scarce resource. I wonder how is it that government ...
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3answers
153 views

Admixtures of longitudinal and timelike photons!

In the quantization of electromagnetic field the physical states $|\psi\rangle$ are found to obey the following relation: $[a^{(0)}(k)-a^{(3)}(k)]|\psi\rangle=0$ It is explained as the physical ...
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108 views

What is the relation of scattering, extinction and absorption cross sctions with scattering parameters?

In optics and electromagnetics, they frequently calculate the extinction, scattering or absorption cross sections of a single particle (e.g. a sphere). Scattering cross section which is the ratio of ...
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2answers
99 views

Electromagnetism in astrophysics

What is the most important electromagnetic phenomena involved in astrophysics?, I am working in a presentation of magnetars, pulsars and magnetic field of planets and I would like to know if there are ...
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2answers
74 views

Importance of the $\exp (i \bar{k} \cdot \bar{r})$ part of the plane wave equation

I am having trouble grasping how the equation $\bar{E} \left( \bar{r}, t \right) = \bar{E}_{0} \exp \left[ i \left( \bar{k} \cdot \bar{r} - \omega t \right) \right]$ fully describes a plane wave. ...
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55 views

Does the power weakening of an electromagnetic transmission over distance depends on the beam's width?

Does the power weakening of an electromagnetic transmission over distance depends on the beam's width? If I emit an omnidirectional electromagnetic transmission, its power weakens in the ratio of ...
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5answers
313 views

What exactly are light waves?

We know a sound wave is a disturbance that moves through a medium when particles of the medium set neighboring particles in motion. And using the pressure variations we can plot a pressure/time graph ...
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1answer
225 views

Electromagnetic waves in an antenna

There is a few questions that need to be answered in detail but in an easy way... What does it mean to describe the 'plane of polarisation' of electromagnetic waves? Why will some antenna have rods ...
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1answer
40 views

What happens when an electron and an EMR meets?

The electron on an atom gets excited to a higher level when some how the energy is transferred to the electron. But I can't understand it. I'm no expert of physics. What happens when the electron in ...
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1answer
203 views

What's the relationship between input power and intensity / frequency of radiated EM waves?

I've seen an example of an electric dipole that radiates power proportional to $\ \omega^{4} $. My question is: given a fixed amount of input power to drive the dipole, while varying the driving ...
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0answers
42 views

Analogy for Rayleigh scattering

This morning's eclipse has me looking into Rayleigh scattering. I'm trying to think of a good analogy to explain it to somebody without getting too in-depth into electromagnetism and other subjects... ...
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0answers
28 views

Atmospheric refraction approximation

I am studying atmospheric refraction, reading ITU P.834 Effects of tropospheric refraction on radiowave propagation, and I have a question about an approximation. They say that refraction correction, ...
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1answer
106 views

General solution to the wave equation of electromagnetic field

Suppose that we have the four-vector potential of the electromagnetic field, $$A^i$$ The wave equation is given by $$\Box A^i=\frac {\partial^2}{\partial x^k \partial x_k } A^i= \left(\frac {1}{c^2} ...
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42 views

When optically pumping a lasing gain medium with another laser, does Stimulated, or Spontaneous emission dominate?

Much of my reading seems to indicate that laser pumping results in a fluorescent stokes shift but somehow photon vector is maintained. I've seen the phrase "Spontaneous Fluorescence by Stimulated ...
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2answers
68 views

What is energy of light, as we know speed of light?

1.What is total energy of EM waves, as all got same speed? If two em waves has same energy, do they have same mass? If same mass and energy, do they have same frequency or wavelength still ...
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1answer
59 views

Single photon pulse and its electromagnet field

I describe the temporal distribution of a single photon pulse in an interferometer experiment in vacuum via the Gaussian function $\psi$: $$ \psi(t) = \tfrac{1}{(2\pi\sigma^2)^{1/4}} \text ...
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2answers
100 views

Could airport security devices detect differences between printed and written documents?

If airport security scanners of any kind (xray, thermal, whatever else they use) looked at two items: A printed paper textbook The same printed paper textbook into which we have inserted a regular ...
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4answers
929 views

Why is an opaque body opaque?

When does a body qualify to be called an opaque body? Is it anybody which cannot let visible light through it or is there any other definition? And when and how does a body allow radiations through ...
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0answers
17 views

What is the effect of alpha particle on a diamagnetic substance?

Can alpha particles induce static charge on diamagnetic substances or temporarily magnetize when they are bombarded on them ? If yes then for how much of time the charge remains on it ? Till what ...
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0answers
58 views

How to represent a laser pulse in quantum optics

Every quantum optics textbook that I've found says something like "a coherent state represents the output of a laser", but a coherent state is a static thing (aside from the oscillating phase of the ...
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1answer
39 views

Tranverse electromagnetic waves

TEM waves do not exist in waveguide. Is this the correct explanation- Both curl and divergence of TEM are zero inside the waveguide and because of the boundary conditions (electric field zero at every ...
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2answers
257 views

How exactly does applying the Equipartition Theorem to radiation leads to UV catastrophe?

I'm reading a book by George Gamow, "Thirty years that shook Physics" and have trouble understanding his way of describing the UV catastrophe. In a first part he points out that applying the ...
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3answers
1k views

How could electromagnetic waves propagate through space although they have no electrons?

How could electric fields in these waves propagate through space although in space there's no electrons for the electric field to be formed? is there another type of charged particles that carry the ...
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3answers
609 views

If I turn the light off in a room why does the light instantly disappear? [duplicate]

So today I was asked a question which I found very simple yet I honestly couldn't explain (embarrassingly). One of my mum's friends who knows I'm a scientist asked me "If I turn the light off in a ...
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2answers
402 views

2.4Ghz microwaves have a 12cm wavelength. How do microwave ovens leak radiation, since any gap in the shielding is much smaller than that wavelength?

I've read (I think on wikipedia, but I can't find the reference) that microwave oven leakage is often due to faulty seals on the door. Given that any gap in the door is going to be far smaller than ...
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1answer
142 views

Phase difference between incident plane wave incident on a dipole and radiation fields from dipole

i have an incident plane wave and a dipole, consider that plane wave incident on dipole. at this moment what happens to dipole? We know that after incident of plane wave on dipole, the radiation has ...
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1answer
120 views

How does the electric field pulse propagate during a change in the magnetic vector potential?

The electric field in terms of the electric scalar potential, and the magnetic vector potential is: $E = -\nabla\phi - \frac{\partial A}{\partial t}$, where $A$ is such that $B = \nabla \times A$. ...
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3answers
1k views

What is the physical meaning of retarded time?

Consider this figure Now, when I measure a field produced by the charge $e$ at the point $\mathbf r$, at the time $t=t_1$, it means that the charge sent the signal field at the time $t=t_r$, where ...
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64 views

Understanding the definition of SAR value?

I am confused over the meaning of SAR values and different standards in its definitions. While checking of website a mobile manufacturer company for a mobile phone, I found this statement The SAR ...