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 (1)

103
votes
1answer
44k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
245 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
votes
0answers
345 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
100 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
929 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
votes
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
votes
1answer
123 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 ...
17
votes
4answers
522 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
votes
1answer
186 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
votes
2answers
191 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
votes
2answers
55 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
125 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
105 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
131 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
667 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
votes
0answers
68 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
vote
1answer
192 views

Retarded potential in gravitational field?

Is there a retarded potential concept in gravitational field similar to electromagnetic radiation?
2
votes
1answer
255 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
145 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
vote
1answer
137 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
55 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
338 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
vote
4answers
394 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
240 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
votes
2answers
329 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
votes
2answers
116 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
66 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
vote
3answers
518 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
90 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
193 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
622 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
121 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
81 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
215 views

Why aren't superconductors shiny? [duplicate]

Superconductors are really good at conducting electricity. Should they not reflect light very well too?
5
votes
3answers
266 views

Can I call additional conditions on potentials a Gauge choice?

Let's say I have an electromagnetics problem in a spatially varying medium. After I impose Maxwell's equations, the Lorenz gauge choice, boundary conditions, and the Sommerfeld radiation condition, I ...
6
votes
4answers
323 views

Why is laser light a cone?

What about the production of laser light disallows it to be perfectly straight as opposed to a cone? I feel like it should be a plane wave, not a very tight cone.
23
votes
4answers
2k views

Does a constantly accelerating charged particle emit em radiation or not?

The Abraham-Lorentz force gives the recoil force, $\mathbf{F_{rad}}$, back on a charged particle $q$ when it emits electromagnetic radiation. It is given by: $$\mathbf{F_{rad}} = \frac{q^2}{6\pi ...
-2
votes
3answers
207 views

How “things” radiate electromagnetic radiation? [closed]

How things radiate electromagnetic radiation? I don't ask why they radiate (higher temperature than 0K) but how they radiate this electromagnetic waves?
0
votes
2answers
306 views

An Electromagnetic Paradox?

The above diagram represents an isolated system with two masses $M$, at position $X$, and $m$, at position $x$, connected together by an extended spring. Each mass is connected by rigid rods to ...
-4
votes
1answer
203 views

home made atom destruction unit [closed]

Today we learnt at school that atoms can be destructed. I believe Physics is a great science to do experiment and I would like to try it at home. Could you tell me what I need to do it? and is it ...
21
votes
1answer
557 views

How do we know that these radio bursts are from billions of light-years away?

NASA just announced that they detected the first radio bursts from outside of our galaxy. Astronomers, including a team member from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., have ...
7
votes
1answer
432 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, ...
0
votes
2answers
660 views

Why electrons can't radiate in their atoms' orbits?

It's an old-new question (I found only one similar question with unsatisfactory (for me) answer: Where did Schrödinger solve the radiating problem of Bohr's model?) It's strange for me how all books ...
9
votes
3answers
684 views

Are Electromagnetic Waves The Only Means of Transmitting Information?

We've been using EMF to transmit energy (information) for over a century. I was wondering is there any other way to send a message on long distances, even faster than EMF waves can travel? For example ...
5
votes
1answer
213 views

How do individual photons make up an EM wave?

I'm trying to understand the connection between the wave model and the particle model for light. It's understood that the energy of a photon is given by E=hf, but from my understanding of fourier ...
0
votes
1answer
220 views

Accelerating electrons via microwaves

In Synchrotrons I think they use microwaves to accelerate the electrons bundles that fly through-how does putting a microwave through a cavity accelerate an electron? I know that the Electric and ...
2
votes
1answer
87 views

Cross-section of a wave packet

In text books, wave packets are one-dimensional drawings. But we live in a three-dimensional world. Suppose a wave packet from a HI-cloud (frequency 1420 MHz) is approaching the earth, distance about ...
2
votes
1answer
57 views

How does an optic-mechanical laser read and send binary bytes to a CPU?

Thid greatly concerns physics, since a more refined version of my title will be rehearsed below: How is the physical structure of the mechanical eye use a laser to read binary bits held on an optical ...
1
vote
1answer
140 views

Accelerated charged particles produce electromagnetic radiation, but holes (the charge carriers) do not. Is this correct?

Holes are treated as particles in solid-state physics, so I've had some trouble with reasoning through this properly.
3
votes
1answer
104 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?