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Changing the direction of light

  1. Nov 19, 2005 #1


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    Can a magnet change the direction of light (generally, photon or maybe electromagnetic wave)? _if yes, how? _

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  3. Nov 20, 2005 #2


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    A magnetic field can change the direction of light propagtion - if it's in a medium such as plasma. In effect, the index of refraction is changed by the magnetic field.
  4. Nov 20, 2005 #3

    Claude Bile

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    Magneto-optic materials can change the polarisation of an EM waves, which can - using other polarisation dependant optics (such as a birefringent crystal) change the direction of propagation of an em wave.

  5. Nov 20, 2005 #4


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    Be very careful with the two answers given above. A magnetic field, by itself, has no ability to change the direction of light based on the classical Maxwell Equation. The presence of another material that changes its properties due to a magnetic field has a whole different set of mechanism involved.

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