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

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Short Wave UV lamp

if I remember correctly, shortwave UV is very dangerous such that it can break DNA apart. Today I found this ...
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2answers
28 views

How are different wavelength components collected by the same detector in a spectrometer?

Let's think, we have a detector array (128x1 and each CMOS detector responds 400 to 1000 nm TSL1401CL that way, each detector has 4.6875 nm interval). Then, basically in a spectrometer a prism reflect ...
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29 views

Background needed to understand wireless power transfer at 30GHz [on hold]

An opportunity to contribute in a small way to a cubesat project came our way last week. As I understand it, the goal is to attempt to transmit a usable amount of power to an orbiting cubesat using a ...
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66 views

Earnshaw Theorem for ionic solids

Is a single molecule of sodium chloride (say) or a cluster of molecules of NaCl unstable, although macroscopically NaCl is in fact, stable? How can I reason this based on Earnshaw's theorem?
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26 views

Mechanism/derivation of Rayleigh scattering

I have a question that might just show my lack of understanding of the border/interaction of classical field theory and quantum effects (or might have a much more mundane answer). In a basic course ...
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3answers
88 views

Plane waves - EM wave

An accelerating electric charge will emit transverse electromagnetic waves. These waves are propagating away in wave fronts that become flatter and flatter as getting further from the source. So they ...
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1answer
37 views

What does a hot, optically thin gas *look* like?

In another question I tried to answer what a sample of the Sun's photosphere or core would look like, if it could be brought into the lab. Here is a broader question - if I have a small inert ...
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How can light carry data if light has no mass, and data has mass?

Via a packet-switched network, like the internet, data is sent as packets (bits) wirelessly via radio waves with Wi-Fi, or 802.11g, etc. What my question is is this: Radio waves are light; light has ...
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1answer
50 views

Does reflected light change LED power consumption?

If I enclose an LED in "tin foil" so that the photons it gives off are reflected back to it, would the power consumed by the LED go down?
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3answers
67 views

Negative frequency contributions for very short pulses?

I am wondering if very short optical light pulses can have a Gaussian envelope? When I describe the pulse shape with a Gaussian than the frequency distribution has also a Gaussian shape. But if the ...
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1answer
35 views

Subtraction In Quadrature?

I have a system of particles (electrons) with an initial RMS energy spread (say "1"). It goes through a section of constant magnetic field (bend magnet) and the electrons radiate. The electrons lose ...
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2answers
93 views

Why don't X-rays travel through water?

Why don't X-rays travel through water? I read that X-Rays don't travel through water, but what is the main reason? See this link:http://henke.lbl.gov/optical_constants/ it shows X-ray transmission ...
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1answer
26 views

Does a rotating DC motor near a TV affects the signals coming in the TV?

In my TV cable the signals were quite noisy so i cut the wire and hanged both the wire parallel to each other. Then the signals became very clear and everything was going alright. Once I was ...
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4answers
149 views

Why Light isn't like an Acoustic wave?

I just wanted to know why light isn't an Acoustic wave.Is it because light wave doesn't obey acoustic properties?
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2answers
2k views

How do microwaves heat moisture-free items?

Today I learnt that microwaves heat food by blasting electromagnetic waves through the water molecules found in the food. Does that mean food with 0% moisture (if such a thing exists - dried spices?) ...
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3answers
828 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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2answers
2k views

Wavelength dependent refractive index

I read in a book about optical fibers that the different spectral components of a light pulse transmitted in the fiber propagate with different velocities due to a wavelength dependent refractive ...
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2answers
60 views

Do I need to convert units to be compatible with constants?

I want to calculate the wavelength of radiation given its energy. I know I need to use $E=h f$ and $f = c / \lambda$. All I'm given is $E = 20 \text{ keV}$, now my true question is: Do I use $E = ...
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1answer
78 views

Electromagnetic interaction physical interpretation [duplicate]

Why do radio waves, X-ray and gamma rays penetrate through matter? Can anyone explain me this in terms of incident energy or wavelength of the photon and the effective cross-section that these photons ...
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1answer
128 views

Stimulated emission direction

Place a sub-micron clump of crystal violet molecules in front of a multipixel detector. Raise the molecules to an electronically excited state with a beam of 590 nm light, illuminating from the side ...
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1answer
27 views

Typical energy of a solar flare

I read that solar flares are customarily viewed in H-alpha light, as a temporary brightening of a small portion of chromosphere. What all can be interpreted from this? Is it because, energy of the ...
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3answers
632 views

Electromagnetic waves should stop while encountering a conducting shell?

I am a high school student who has just started reading elementary electromagnetism and am a completely beginner in this subject. I have read in books that EM waves are nothing but sinusoidal ...
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4answers
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Why do prisms work (why is refraction frequency dependent)?

It is well known that a prism can "split light" by separating different frequencies of light: Many sources state that the reason this happens is that the index of refraction is different for ...
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1answer
52 views

How does Huygens Principle explain interference?

How exactly does Huygens theory about the propagation of wavefronts account for interference?
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2answers
137 views

Are solutions coordinate invariant?

In the case of electromagnetism, we can solve the sorceless wave equation in Cartesian coordinates ($x$,$y$,$z$) getting plane waves as solutions: $$ u(x) = A(x-ct) + B(y-ct) $$ and actually I am not ...
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3answers
62 views

Does light change phase on refraction?

I have seen a lot about when light undergoes a phase change when it is reflected. But does it undergo a phase change when refracted and if so why and if not why not?
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1answer
2k views

Does the absence of a sound particle indicate that there are no photons?

Sound is usually referred to as just "sound waves" - we do not talk about a "sound particle" and only as a wave or "matter wave." Could something similar apply to light i.e. that there really is no ...
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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) ...
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Does infrared rays pass through polarized glass?

Actually I had asked in another post that "Does infrared rays pass through active shutter glass" but someone just commented that infrared rays dont pass through polarized glass. If infrared rays ...
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65 views

Why is $B=\frac{1}{\omega} k\times E$?

Why can we derrive from $B=\frac{k}{\omega}|E|$ the formula $B=\frac{1}{\omega} k\times E$ ? Obviously, because they are perpendicular, but why is it mathematically legitimate?
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799 views

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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1answer
59 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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2answers
414 views

Difference between electromagnetic radiation (EMR) and Electromagnetic Field?

I'm a freshly graduated electrical engineer. One course that I really struggled with was Field Theory, because it was a lovely assortment of vector calculus and things that were explained to me well ...
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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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38 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
59 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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What is the relationship between Faraday cage mesh size and attenuation of cell phone reception signals?

This is related to the question how can electromagnetic waves reach a cell phone in faraday cage?, where in the answer it was stated that the holes (=size of the mesh) would need to be smaller than ...
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1answer
107 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 ...
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1answer
39 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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8answers
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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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5answers
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Can a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) cause a blackout on Earth and why?

Can a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) cause a blackout on Earth and why is it so what's the relation between electro magnetic radiations and electrical and electronic appliance.what exactly does it do to ...
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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
32 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
28 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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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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1answer
162 views

Can we draw analogy between em power flow through free space and ac power flow through a transmission line?

Knowing that the free space has a characteristic impedance (which is purely resistive, measured in ohms) I was wondering if I can model the free space as an infinitely long transmission line- ...
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25 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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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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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?