How does the magnetic component of an EM wave affect surroundings?

In summary: Now that I was reminded of the photoelectric effect then I know conductors are affected by light. Thank you for the thought producing questions, they helped me remember things and make new neurological connections!
  • #1
Boltzman Oscillation
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TL;DR Summary
Would the magnetic wave of an EM wave create a force on objects near the shone light?
Hi all, as we all know EM waves are made up of magnetic and electric waves in a plane perpendicular to the direction of propagation. Given this, why don't I see conductors being affected when I shine light at them? Woulnt the magnetism cause a force? Is is that the force is too small? What am i not understanding.
 
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  • #2
Boltzman Oscillation said:
Given this, why don't I see conductors being affected when I shine light at them?
What happens if you shine radio or micro waves at a conductor? What's the difference between radio and light waves?
 
  • #3
Boltzman Oscillation said:
Hi all, as we all know EM waves are made up of magnetic and electric waves ##~\dots##
Please count me out. What I think I know is that EM waves are made up of magnetic and electric fields. :oldsmile:
 
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  • #4
Ibix said:
What happens if you shine radio or micro waves at a conductor? What's the difference between radio and light waves?
Err when you asked me this I thought about the fact (i forgot the name) that if you shine light to a conductor then some of the electrons of the material will be sent flying out of the material. Oh, the photoelectric effect. Difference between radio and micro waves are many: energy, frequency, wavelength.
 
  • #5
Why do you say that conductors are not affected when you shine light at them? If light is affected by a conductor then the conductor must be affected by light. Have you wondered why a sheet of paper transmits light but not a sheet of aluminum foil?
 
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  • #6
kuruman said:
Why do you say that conductors are not affected when you shine light at them? If light is affected by a conductor then the conductor must be affected by light. Have you wondered why a sheet of paper transmits light but not a sheet of aluminum foil?
Now that I was reminded of the photoelectric effect then I know conductors are affected by light. Thank you for the thought producing questions, they helped me remember things and make new neurological connections!
 
  • #8
Boltzman Oscillation said:
Err when you asked me this I thought about the fact (i forgot the name) that if you shine light to a conductor then some of the electrons of the material will be sent flying out of the material. Oh, the photoelectric effect. Difference between radio and micro waves are many: energy, frequency, wavelength.
I was actually thinking of a radio antenna, where an EM wave clearly makes electrons oscillate. Higher frequency EM does that too, but the effects aren't the same because the wave is higher frequency - see, for example, kuruman's post.
 
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  • #9
Boltzman Oscillation said:
Summary:: Would the magnetic wave of an EM wave create a force on objects near the shone light?

Is is that the force is too small?
Probably. Light has momentum which can be measured.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nichols_radiometer
 
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Related to How does the magnetic component of an EM wave affect surroundings?

1. How does the magnetic component of an EM wave interact with matter?

The magnetic component of an electromagnetic (EM) wave interacts with matter through the movement of charged particles. The magnetic field of the EM wave causes the charged particles within matter to oscillate, creating their own magnetic fields. This interaction can result in various effects, such as inducing electric currents or causing the molecules in matter to vibrate.

2. Can the magnetic component of an EM wave cause any physical changes in matter?

Yes, the magnetic component of an EM wave can cause physical changes in matter. For example, when the EM wave's magnetic field induces electric currents in conductive materials, it can generate heat or even cause the material to melt or vaporize. Additionally, the magnetic component of an EM wave can also cause the alignment of particles within matter, resulting in changes in its magnetic properties.

3. How does the strength of the magnetic component of an EM wave affect its impact on matter?

The strength of the magnetic component of an EM wave plays a significant role in its impact on matter. A stronger magnetic field can induce stronger electric currents and cause more significant physical changes in matter. Additionally, the strength of the magnetic field can also affect the penetration depth of the EM wave into matter, with stronger fields being able to penetrate deeper into materials.

4. Can the magnetic component of an EM wave be shielded or blocked?

Yes, the magnetic component of an EM wave can be shielded or blocked. Materials such as iron, nickel, and cobalt are highly effective at blocking magnetic fields. Additionally, certain types of conductive materials, such as copper or aluminum, can also block or redirect magnetic fields. However, the effectiveness of shielding or blocking depends on the strength and frequency of the EM wave.

5. Are there any potential health risks associated with the magnetic component of an EM wave?

There is currently no scientific evidence to suggest that the magnetic component of an EM wave poses any significant health risks. However, extremely strong magnetic fields, such as those found in MRI machines, can cause physiological effects in the body. These effects are typically temporary and are not considered harmful. The World Health Organization has deemed the magnetic component of EM waves to be safe for human exposure at levels typically encountered in daily life.

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