7
$\begingroup$

I am curious what the electric and magnetic field's of light look like when time is stopped. A "photograph" or illustration/description of these fields at a moment in time is what I desire.

Also, does the picture change at various points in the wave?

I assume that this is like a "time exposure" of a light wave.

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I suggest to change the title (v1) into the less dramatic What does an electromagnetic wave look like at a fixed instant of time? $\endgroup$ – Qmechanic Jul 18 '11 at 20:47
  • $\begingroup$ @Qmechanic: good idea, done ;-) Feel free to make those edits yourself when you can do it without changing the meaning of the question. $\endgroup$ – David Z Jul 18 '11 at 20:54
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Joe, No, the link you gave is not a time exposure of a light wave. It is a depiction of the electric and magnetic fields at different places at the same time - exactly what you're asking for. $\endgroup$ – Mark Eichenlaub Jul 19 '11 at 6:59
  • $\begingroup$ @Mark Eichenlaub Surely there is a defined length (z-direction if E and B are in x and y) to the sinusoidal wave depiction of light. $\endgroup$ – Dale Jul 19 '11 at 13:39
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Joe Of course there is, and it is already drawn into the picture and clearly labeled with the word "wavelength". $\endgroup$ – Mark Eichenlaub Jul 19 '11 at 17:51
1
$\begingroup$

Have a look at the graphic in Lubos Motl's answer to another electromagnetic question.

It shows a polarised plane wave propagating in time and you can take a time projection that answers your question. Unpolarised plane waves have all possible orientations in space.

$\endgroup$
-3
$\begingroup$

It's like a sine wave. If you plot a sine wave on graph paper, from 0 - 1. You can see it.

I've honestly seen no explanation, that I understood, that explained the exact the exact correlation, but, mathematically, it's a perfect fit.

Oh, you might want to use 'polar plot' graphing paper. It makes the mathematics trivial.

$\endgroup$
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Could you explain what the axis labels would be if you were to make such a graph? $\endgroup$ – pentane Jan 30 '15 at 13:05

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.