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

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What is absorption of an electromagnetic wave?

Can any one explain the absorption/transmission/reflection of electromagnetic waves in the wave form? It is generally said that the atom absorbs/reflects/transmits photon. But can this phenomena be ...
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62 views

How is Energy Distributed within a Electromagnetic Wave?

Let $$\hat{H}$$ Denote the full energy of the electromagnetic wave. Now is it right to assume that $$\hat{H}=\sqrt{2\hat{H}_y^2+\hat{H}_x^2}=\sqrt{2\hat{H}_z^2+\hat{H}_x^2}$$ If not, what is ...
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Is there any example where electric and magnetic fields are not perpendicular?

Perpendicular electric and magnetic field creates light or other electromagnetic waves. Is it a necessary property to have a perpendicular fields? If not what would happen when the fields are not ...
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1answer
91 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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2answers
69 views

Can someone explain to me the concept of atmosphere opacity?

On this diagram, why is the atmospheric opacity shaped as it is? If we are able to see lights due to low atmospheric opacity, why can't we see radio waves, when the atmospheric opacity is so low ...
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1answer
104 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
56 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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1answer
41 views

Electric charge of light? [duplicate]

Light (or any radiation as a matter of fact) is an electromagnetic wave so why doesn't it have a electric charge associated with it? As far as I know only static or flowing electric chargers can ...
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2answers
268 views

Which cyan colored line is produced in the Thomson e/m apparatus?

Related: Which green spectral line(s) are emitted in a Thomson tube? After reading Lisa Lee’s OP on an electron deflection tube, although she had some misunderstandings on its operation, I still ...
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44 views

Import of Celestial Effects on Satellite Radio Interference

Some internet (among other) infrastructure comprises satellites, which beam communications in radio frequencies. These satellites, to ground observers, appear as very small solid angles in the sky. ...
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1answer
69 views

What does the size of an object have to do with it's color?

Stephen Hawking mentions in his book 'A Brief History of Time' that quarks are much smaller than the wavelength of visible light so they do not have any color in the normal sense. What exactly does ...
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1answer
59 views

Is the photon first a wave, then a particle? [duplicate]

When the 'photon' is emitted, it would reason that the result of the energy fluctuation that creates 'it' rather is created as an energy wave, which when measured by us or a surface, it 'becomes' as a ...
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2answers
36 views

Internal energy and photon absorption

I just wish to confirm whether my understanding is correct. I know that photon absorption/emission brings about quantised changes in electron energy levels. Photons (infrared) also interact with ...
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2answers
49 views

How hot particles can get [duplicate]

One way in which an object is affected by temperature rise is that the wavelength of the radiation it emits is gets smaller and smaller. Another way of looking at it is that as an object gets hotter, ...
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1answer
70 views

Far Field Diffraction of EM waves: what does the zero frequency signify?

If you have a system of independently radiating electrons/point-charges, the far field distribution of the EM waves can be approximated by the fraunhoffer diffraction integral, or simply by the ...
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2answers
73 views

Blackbody radiation through quantum mechanics perspective

While explaining black body radiation, the body is assumed as a cavity radiator and the radiations are due to the oscillating electrons. But we know that the electromagnetic radiation emitted is ...
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2answers
465 views

Is data which rides on the carrier frequency dangerous?

My understanding of broadcasting data via electromagnetic radition is, that the data "rides" on a carrier frequency on which it is radiated. I am aware of the fact, that those carrier frequencies are ...
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34 views

Can we multiply an electromagnetic field?

can we multiply light by a sequence of reflections in a closed vessel? also, is light a part of EM wave? can we multiply the radio wave or EM wave from a transformer?
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2answers
32 views

Parallel electric and magnetic field in traveling wave

Can we have elctromagnetic waves which are characterized by parallel electric and magnetic field $\vec{E} || \vec{B}$ ? I am not talking here about free space, but maybe some kind of materials or ...
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0answers
13 views

Can various wavelengths participate in C/D Interference?

My question is can multiple wavelengths or at least two different wavelengths interfere with one another? I know that they usually have to be the 'same' wavelength, but you'd think they can vary a bit ...
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1answer
43 views

If sound travels through matter what medium does light travel through? [duplicate]

So sound is a wave and is basically just vibrations, an atom vibrates causing another next to it vibrate and so on until it finally reaches our ears to become sound. If that's normally how waves ...
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2answers
101 views

Why are radio waves in the 1.43 - 2.5 Mhz range invisible?

Visible light diapason is 400 - 700 nm which is 1.43 - 2.5 Mhz. If using an antenna I would broadcast steady sinusoidal wave in this range, why the EM emitted by the antenna are not visible? Suppose ...
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2answers
55 views

Why group velocity represents energy or information transmission? What relation between phase velocity and special relativity

I have two question, why group velocity represents energy or information transmission? what is the relation between phase velocity and Special relativity: why can it exceed C without violation of ...
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Scattering of light by light: experimental status

Scattering of light by light does not occur in the solutions of Maxwell's equations (since they are linear and EM waves obey superposition), but it is a prediction of QED (the most significant Feynman ...
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7answers
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Cyclist's electrical tingling under power lines

It's been happening to me for years. I finally decided to ask users who are better with "practical physics" when I was told that my experience – that I am going to describe momentarily – prove that I ...
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1answer
41 views

What does a supernova look like at its peak luminosity?

I know that in some types of supernovae, the cause of the increased luminosity is the radioactive decay of certain elements ejected during the explosion, so a question came to my mind. If the ejected ...
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1answer
467 views

Dark matter a medium for light propagation

Is dark matter a candidate to fill void left by luminiferous ether as a medium for light travel?
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2k views

What happens to light in a perfect reflective sphere?

Let's say you have the ability to shine some light into a perfectly round sphere and the sphere's interior surface was perfectly smooth and reflective and there was no way for the light to escape. If ...
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2answers
140 views

Can electromagnetic fields be used to shield electromagnetic radiation?

Can electromagnetic fields be used as shielding for electromagnetic radiation?
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468 views

What is the meaning of this “let there be light” joke?

A middle school teacher across the restaurant is wearing this shirt, and I certainly don't get it.
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1answer
34 views

How to calculate the differential scattering cross section?

I am doing some simulations with the Meep code to study some properties of a metal nanoparticle. The situation is this: an incident electromagnetic wave on a metal nanoparticle. By now I know how to ...
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1answer
59 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 happen for dipole ? we know that after incident of plane wave on dipole, the radiation have ...
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4answers
170 views

Sequence of E and B field in radio waves and in single photons

In antenna technology we distinguish between nearfield and widefield. In the nearfield the electric and the magnetic fields are shifted by 90°. If you look closer you can see that there are two ...
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2answers
92 views

Radiation emission and absorption

Any object can emit and absorb radiation and the power of emission can be represented by the Stefan-Boltzmann law: $$P=A\epsilon\sigma T^4$$ In many texts the net power radiated is the difference ...
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1answer
42 views

What would a laser beam's E-M waves actually look like if you zoomed in?

I am trying to understand how a real world beam of laser actually reflects the physics description of oscillating electromagnetic waves. So say we are looking side on at a vertically polarized laser ...
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1answer
82 views

Why would a rotating charged sphere not have time varying electric field?

I have seen Gauss Law being used for a uniformly charged hollow sphere rotating with $\omega$. How is that valid to use Gauss law since it is an electrostatic law and if it is valid, why do we get a ...
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1answer
77 views

Why does the second Weyl scalar describe electromagnetic radiation?

I've been reading about the null tetrad, the Weyl tensor, and the Newman-Penrose identities, and so I found out about the Weyl scalars. While the zeroth, first, third, and fourth scalars describe ...
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80 views

Blackbody and standing waves

I'm reading articles about black body radiation and why classical mechanics fails to explain it. My question is: Why do EM waves have to be standing wave in a cavity?
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1answer
45 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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6answers
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Why glass is transparent?

Once I asked this question from my teacher and he replied "because it passes light", "and why it passes light" I asked and he said "because it is transparent". Same question again, Why glass is ...
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2answers
320 views

What is the magnitude of the force on a charged particle due to electromagnetic radiation?

Suppose there is an electromagnetic wave moving forward in the $\mathbf{\hat{k}}$ direction. Its electric/magnetic field components are given by: $$\mathbf{E} = E_0 \sin(kz - \omega t) ...
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2answers
792 views

How photons move along with EM wave?

So the wave moves like. a wave, it moves up and down, up and down. But how do photons move? Do they follow the same path or do they just go straight forward without oscillating?
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4answers
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Radio antennas that are much shorter than the wavelength

From my limited experience with ham radio when I was a kid, I expect transmitting and receiving antennas to have lengths that are on the same order of magnitude as the wavelength, and in fact I recall ...
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4answers
4k views

Amplitude of an electromagnetic wave containing a single photon

Given a light pulse in vacuum containing a single photon with an energy $E=h\nu$, what is the peak value of the electric / magnetic field?
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3answers
150 views

Visualisation of formation of electromagnetic waves [duplicate]

Recently I am studying electromagnetic waves, and I am wondering why it is formed by acceleration of electric charges? Can the EM waves be formed by other movements of electric charges, such as at a ...
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1answer
23 views

The difference between EMR and lone Electric and Magnetic fields

I fail to understand the true difference between EMR and electric and magnetic fields. When current flows, there is an electric field due to the electron flow and a magnetic field, however no EMR ...
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1answer
58 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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1answer
71 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 ...
47
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9answers
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If photons have no mass, how can they have momentum?

As an explanation of why a large gravitational field (such as a black hole) can bend light, I have heard that light has momentum. This is given as a solution to the problem of only massive objects ...
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