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Quick question that started bothering me today. Wouldn't different wavelengths of light need to travel at different speeds in vacuum to obtain $c$ due to a longer travel path?

I'm obviously not smart so an explanation sin math would be appreciated.

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  • $\begingroup$ Welcome on Physics SE :) Please refrain from asking questions that just came up to you and you obviously did not do any research on (e.g. on wikipedia). If there are parts of explanations you stumble across and do not understand, you could come here and your specific questions will probably be a lot better received. $\endgroup$
    – Sanya
    Oct 10 '16 at 20:55
  • $\begingroup$ I cannot resist saying this: Being smart is not the same as knowing math. If you really weren't smart, then no explanation would help you, with or without math. $\endgroup$
    – Javier
    Oct 10 '16 at 21:45
  • $\begingroup$ How about photons travel in a straight path (along a probability wave i suppose) and the frequency of the wavelength is the electromagnetic field fluctuations that travel perpendicular to the path of the photon? That is an explanation you dont have to be smart for and includes no math. $\endgroup$ Oct 10 '16 at 23:10
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In a vacuum all wavelengths of light (electromagnetic radiation) travel at the same speed along the same path taking the same time. Different wavelengths travel at different speeds in other mediums; this is called dispersion.

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I think you've made an incorrect assumption in your question. The longer wavelength photons do not travel longer paths. You might be thinking of light as particles oscillating up and down as they move forwards. This is a problematic mental model.

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  • $\begingroup$ More than problematical. Incorrect. $\endgroup$
    – garyp
    Oct 11 '16 at 1:01

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