1
$\begingroup$

I'm trying to understand the wave behavior of light and have questions on diagrams of it. Wiki shows the following two diagrams from Christian Huygens describing the wave nature of light. I have seen similar diagrams elsewhere. How do the black curved lines in these diagrams relate to the third, showing an electro magnetic wave? Are the peaks of $\vec E$ in red equivalent to the curved black lines? Also, do the black lines represent peaks on one side of the surface wave in the fourth picture?

2 3 4 5

$\endgroup$
0
$\begingroup$

The black lines, the 'wavefront' show the places where a disturbance starting at a point (e.g. A) reach after a given amount of time. The black lines are concentric circles around the point and are best visualised - as you said, as the positions of peaks of the wave that emanated from A.

These

"Are the peaks of E in red equivalent to the curved black lines? Also, do the black lines represent peaks on one side of the surface wave in the fourth picture?

Seem right, so yes to both.

$\endgroup$

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.