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Movement of Light


Previous Entry Movement of Light May. 12th, 2006 @ 09:10 am Next Entry
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Date:May 12th, 2006 05:41 pm (UTC)
true, assuming space is really the vast empty vaccuum we like to think of it is... and true, it may be devoid of a lot of the common atoms and molecules we think of... but there may be a ton of electrons, photons, quarks, etc., flowing through space to allow all of those things to travel just fine. It may be a vaccuum from our perspectives... but it's not a perfect vaccuum. There's a lot of "stuff" out there... it's just either not something we detect, or so widely dispursed that it doesn't come up in a detectable way. Further, if light is both a particle and a wave, it can ride the vastness of space just fine since it has everything it needs to get around.
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Date:May 13th, 2006 01:24 am (UTC)
Indeed, you are correct.

The theory on electromagnetic waves (forgetting about the particulate properties of light for a moment) does not require a medium in which to propagate. It's a bit unintuitive, but the waving is caused by the interaction between the electric and magnetic components of the wave. A varying electric field gives rise to a magnetic field (similar to an electomagnet), and a varying magnetic field gives rise to an electic field (similar to a generator). These field variations self-propagate through space, continuing on the "waving" though their mutual interaction.
Date:May 13th, 2006 12:31 am (UTC)
cosmic radiation is also just another form particle wave. light, microwaves, cosmic radation....they're all made from particles that act like waves.

besides, i don't think physicists get too bent out of shape over this debate anymore. start talking about string theory though, and you've got trouble...
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