# Tagged Questions

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### What happens to light at sharp points? [closed]

At the tip of the sharp point shown, what will happen to light incident on it. This curiosity was invoked by a friend and also my childhood of watching shiny pointed swords in cartoons. Original ...
664 views

### Why can't light penetrate solid objects?

Light is combination of perpendicular electric and magnetic fields, since electric fields penetrate a conductor, why can't light travel in them? I think my argument does sound stupid, but I can't ...
66 views

### Where does wave frequency come from

I am trying to wrap my head around where do oscillations in electromagnetic waves come from. As an example if I would take a string of guitar and ring it, it would produce a certain sound based on the ...
53 views

### Single slit diffraction pattern in 2D

I was looking at previous exams and I saw a question with single slit diffraction. Please look at picture on the website: http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?p=4807732#post4807732 So, this ...
65 views

### Unpolarized Light

Suppose I had a ray of unpolarized light, and I was sitting inside the beam and looking at the electric fields oscillating, then , if I am looking at a point how would the oscillations look like? I ...
33 views

### how does different colour wavelength intefere? [duplicate]

Say a red colour with 400nm mixes with blue colour with 700nm, but out of phase by a little. What would be the resultant colour? I would know how to represent the resulting wave mathematically, but ...
56 views

### Does a light wave that has been cancelled by another light wave continue traveling forward?

I imagine that if a light wave is cancelled out by another light wave, it would still continue to exist as a photon that is traveling at the speed of light--only without a wavelength. Would it behave ...
115 views

### Why can't light waves bend? [duplicate]

Assume that you fixed a speaker to an inclined pipe as well the torch. You can hear sound from the other end of the pipe, but can't see the light from other end of the pipe, why?
62 views

### Light Waves and Light Photons gedanken Experiment

Suppose you have a source of light that emits light with a wavelength of 2 meters, and you set the device to be turned on and switched off alternately. You also set it so that each interval the device ...
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### Why the crest of water absorb more light than the trough of water?

I have done my experiment using water ripple to study the behavior of waves. I know that the crest will absorb more light than the trough so that the image created on the white paper sheet appeared to ...
345 views

### Which solution to the electromagnetic wave equation is the most accurate model of monochromatic light?

When a photon is modeled as a monochromatic electromagnetic wave its electric and magnetic components are usually taken to be sine waves (for example here ...
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### What's the proof that the polarization occur s to the electric field of the light? [duplicate]

What's the proof of the light polarization that it happens to the electric field and not the magnetic field? How did Malus discover that the light is polarized although he didn't see the waves ...
233 views

### Why doesn't the magnetic field polarize when polarizing light?

If the magnetic field doesn't polarize does it follow the electric field path of propagation? or does it vanish?
93 views

### Does the transmission axis matter for sending polarized light through polarized glass?

If I have polarized light and I send through only one polarized glass plane, does the transmission axis matter, or will the intensity be halved no matter what.
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### Red color has largest wavelenght and violet minimum (in the range of visible light). then why does violet light appears reddish? RED + BLUE = VIOLET [duplicate]

My question is simple. Green light is more similar to red light than violet, then why is violet reddish and green not? in the language of frequencies and wavelengths, red and violet should contrast ...
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### 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 ...
108 views

### Can a wave exist on the “face” of a wave?

It would seem that this would be possible with waves in water. What about other waves Clarification: Given a wave starting from a point of impact, in water, at: Time 0:00 and xyz 0,0,0 and the ...
161 views

### Electromagnetic Waves

We all know that light is an electro magnetic wave. but is electricity a EM wave? If it is then why light does not requires a medium to travel and why on the other side electricity needs a conductor ( ...
454 views

### Why are two independent sources incoherent?

Coherent sources are produced from a single parent source. But, why are two independent sources always incoherent? Two sources can produce light of the same frequency. Then, I guess the problem is ...
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### Diffraction from interatomic spacing

In diffraction from a single slit, we learn that the angular width of the central maxima, is given by $2\sin^{-1}\frac \lambda d$. For $d\approx \lambda$, the incoming wavefront should be spread to ...
142 views

### Do electromagnetic waves have endpoints?

When learning about electromagnetic waves at school we never talked about any endpoints as we did with standing waves, so I assumed that light has an endless length, but that doesn't make sense. So my ...
244 views

### Does brightness of the light remains constant with the variation of the distance with respect to the source in vaccum?

I have this question going in my mind from many days, i.e why brightness of light emitted from any light source around us decreases with distance? The brightness of light from tube light, streetlight, ...
167 views

### Why does a light wave invert at a boundary with greater index of refraction?

Is there a reason why a EM wave reflects invertedly when it meets a boundary point with a greater index of refraction. In the case of ropes, if remember correctly, the reason why it inverts is to ...
182 views

### Is Huygen's Principle Axiomatic?

Is Huygens Principle just a fundamental way to understand light? It always seemed to me that it was somehow "derived" or that it should be-but is it simply a well-founded theory?
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### How does the light waves make up to my eye?

I was thinking about a situation were there is a group of people in a room. While all those people are observing something(none of them are blind) the light ways need to reach their respective eyes. ...
32 views

### Light Apparent Brightness

Let's say I have a triangular light source. From that light source I want to calculate a pyramidal frustum (tetrahedron with no apex). How would I calculate the maximum bottom area where light would ...
116 views

### Why does a street light cast a wavey shimmer across the water (at night)

See image You will have to zoom in. Why is the reflection a wavey one? Could someone explain how this is occurring, to the layman, (with the style of feynman if possible -heh) :)
449 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 ...
520 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 ...
348 views

### Huygens wave theory not applicable to lasers or parallel beams of light?

According to Huygens wave theory, every point on a wavefront acts as a secondary source of waves. Using this principle we can never have pretty narrow parallel beams of light right? Like lasers? ...
197 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).
334 views

### Diffraction and waves

Sorry about my poorly worded question as i'm not to good at explaining but bare with me so here i go. Does sound come as straight lines like ||||| and become diffracted into curves when it passes ...
288 views

### Factors affecting the size of a shadow

What factors affects the size of a shadow and how would you derive the diameter of a shadow of a circular object on a flat screen?
106 views

### Historical aspect of wave theory of light

Huygens thought light as a wave. Wave is a propagation of physical disturbance. We now know that light is electromagnetic field. Electric and magnetic field fluctuates here. What Huygens really ...
556 views

### Refraction of light and frequency dependence

Why do higher frequency waves refract more, both ocean waves and light waves? Also why is energy stored in the frequency as opposed to the wavelength.
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### How large of a solar sail would be needed to travel to mars in under a year?

I'm attempting to approach this using the identity $$F/A = I/c$$ I can solve for Area easily enough $$A = F(c/I)$$ and I know the distance $d$ is $$d=1/2(at^2)$$ But I'm having difficulty trying to ...
111 views

### Relation of color and frequency for the visible spectrum

In this question the OP is looking for a way to see light that is outside of the visible spectrum without using electronic sensors. This got me wondering about the visible spectrum itself. Typically ...
141 views

### Can you “fold” EM or light waves? (i.e) long wave that is reflected by mirror in fragments - like in the game “Snake”

So, I was reading about the Casimir effect. Two mirrors facing each other attract to each other in a vacuum. The reason is due to pressure exerted on those mirrors from the multitude of EM waves (like ...
357 views

### Are there “gaps” in light, or will it hit everywhere?

Not sure how to word my question. Picture a light source in vacuum, so nothing disturbs the light (or similar conditions), 2d. If I move very, very far away, will it happen that some of the light ...
107 views

### Can a stream of photons to be an environment for carrying light?

As the air molecules are environment for carrying sound waves, could stream of photons be environment for carrying electromagnetic waves? What contradictions cause this assumption in the existing ...
285 views

### Can light be canceled by merging with an inverted wave?

Can light waves be canceled by merging them with their inverted waves? Seems like it would violate conservation of energy but waves are added together when they overlap, right? Where is the flaw in ...
510 views

### Is infrared light diffused on walls?

Lamps that produce visible light can light up a whole room because the ceiling and the walls diffuse light. This way, when there is a single lamp in a room, something that is in the shadows is not ...
249 views

### Does light have timbre?

Timbre is a property associated with the shape of a sound wave, that is, the coefficients of the discrete Fourier transform of the corresponding signal. This is why a violin and a piano can each play ...
1k views

### Huygens Principle and principal of rectilinear propagation of light

Suppose I have an wave source and light waves are radiating from it. If I have a point source, then after a time t, with a radius of ct I will have a circular wave front.By Huygens principle each ...
731 views

### Wavelength and resolution

I'm reading some texts that seam to assume knowledge of light that I'm not too familiar with. How does wavelength of light relate to the minimum distance span that can be observed (i.e. you cannot ...
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### Transmission of Gaussian Beam Through Graded-Index Slab

The $ABCD$ matrix of a glass graded-index slab with refractive index $n(y)=n_0(1-\frac{1}{2}\alpha^{2}y^{2})$ and length $d$ is $A=\cos(\alpha d)$, $B=\frac{1}{\alpha}\sin(\alpha d)$, \$C=-\alpha ...
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### Help With Difficult Deductive Proof [closed]

Suppose we have a Gaussian beam with a complex envelope expressed by the following equation 1: $$\tag{1} A_G(x,y,z) = \frac{A_1}{q(z)} e^{-ik \frac{x^2 + y^2}{2q(z)}}$$ where $$q(z) = z+iz_0$$ ...
261 views

### Pulsed Spherical Wave

Can somebody help show me how a pulsed spherical wave has a wavefunction of the form U(r,t) = (1/r)a(t-r/c), where a(t) is an arbitrary function, r is the radius of the spherical wave, t is time, and ...