Electric & Magnetic Properties of Light

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Description

Electric & Magnetic Properties of Light

TRY SOME QUICK QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS TO GET STARTED
In the case of light waves, to propagate means to travels through a medium in a particular direction.
Yes! The wavelength and speed at which light travels change as they travel through different media but frequency remains the same.
Yes! A light wave is another name for an electromagnetic wave!

About the diagram

About the diagram
  • This diagram shows that an electromagnetic wave (lightwave) results from the interaction of an electric field and a magnetic field.
  • Electromagnetic waves are produced by the Sun as a result of thermonuclear fusion.
  • The explosive force of thermonuclear fusion is caused by gravity crushing hydrogen atoms until they collapse.
  • The nuclear reaction forces hydrogen atoms to combine into helium atoms and release vast amounts of electrical and magnetic energy.
  • The electrical and magnetic forces form fields that interact with each other to produce a wave pattern that radiates out into space at the speed of light.
  • The electromagnetic waves are of every imaginable size. The smallest (gamma rays) transport the most energy. The largest (radio waves) transport the least.
  • Candles and light bulbs also involve heating materials until they give off light.
In the diagram:
  • The magnetic wave is coloured red and yellow and forms the vertical axis.
  • The electrical wave is coloured blue and violet and forms the horizontal axis.
  • The direction of propagation is from left to right.

Some key terms

Electromagnetic radiation

Electromagnetic radiation is a type of energy more commonly simply called light. Detached from its source, it is transported by ...

Electromagnetic wave

An electromagnetic wave carries electromagnetic radiation. An electromagnetic wave is formed as electromagnetic radiation propagates from a light source, travels ...

Electric field

An electric field is created by a change in voltage (charge). The higher the voltage the stronger the field. Whilst ...

Wavelength

Wavelength is a measurement from any point on the path of a wave to the same point on its next ...

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