, Electromagnetic waves and their collision

In summary, Dwayne McIntosh had a question about using electromagnetic waves to produce heat through collisions with solid objects. However, it was clarified that electromagnetic waves do not collide with each other, but rather undergo interference when they come across each other. Heat can be produced by these waves when they interact with matter, similar to how a microwave oven works. The amount of heat produced depends on the phase of the interacting waves and can be compared to ripples meeting on the surface of water.
  • #1
osiris545
1
0
Hello everyone, My Name is Dwayne McIntosh.

I am not that good at Physics or Mathematics however i do have a problem.

I was brainstorming the other day and i wanted to know, what if one was to use say electromagnetic waves (may be different wavelength,frequency or Photon Energy, but with the same property;passing through solid objects) and make them collide, would the collision produce heat?

I hope this is not a dumb question


If yes, then how do i calculate that heat energy
 
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  • #2
osiris545 said:
what if one was to use say electromagnetic waves (may be different wavelength,frequency or Photon Energy, but with the same property;passing through solid objects) and make them collide, would the collision produce heat?

It's easy to get heat by passing electromagnetic waves through a solid material - that's what a microwave oven does. However, in that case the the heat is produced by the microwaves acting on the molecules of the material, not by the the waves colliding with each other.

Electromagnetic radiation doesn't collide with itself; if you set up two waves and send them towards one another they just meet and quietly pass through each other. Neither one is changed by the presence of the other one.
 
  • #3
Electromagnetic waves like any other waves undergo interference when they come across each other,while they behave as photons of non-zero momentum when they come across matter.EM waves do not collide with each other they just continue to propagate in the same direction when they interfere but at the point of interference the intensity of light is given based on the phase of each wave.EM waves can produce heat when they come across matter which is why you can burn something with a laser.If you put an object at the point of interference then the heat produced will again depend upon the phase of the two interacting waves.You can think of this as what happens when two ripples meet on the surface of water.
 

Related to , Electromagnetic waves and their collision

What are electromagnetic waves?

Electromagnetic waves are a form of energy that is produced by the movement of electrically charged particles. These waves can travel through space and are responsible for many natural phenomena, such as light, radio waves, and x-rays.

How do electromagnetic waves travel?

Electromagnetic waves travel through space at the speed of light. They do not require a medium to travel through, unlike sound waves which need a medium such as air or water. This allows electromagnetic waves to travel through the vacuum of space.

What is the difference between electromagnetic waves and mechanical waves?

The main difference between electromagnetic waves and mechanical waves is that electromagnetic waves do not require a medium to travel through, while mechanical waves do. Mechanical waves are also limited to the speed of the medium they are traveling through, while electromagnetic waves travel at the speed of light.

What happens when electromagnetic waves collide?

When electromagnetic waves collide, they can either cancel each other out or combine to form a new wave. This is known as interference and is the basis for many technological applications, such as radio and television broadcasting.

How are electromagnetic waves used in everyday life?

Electromagnetic waves are used in a variety of ways in our daily lives. They are used in communication technologies such as cell phones, Wi-Fi, and radio. They are also used in medical imaging, such as x-rays and MRI scans. Additionally, electromagnetic waves are used in cooking, as microwaves use these waves to heat up food.

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