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Light and electromagnetism

  1. Jul 4, 2012 #1
    So how is light related to EM-ism?
    I can understand its relation to heat and materia to a certain extent.
    But overall the magnetic field does not have any effect on a common ray of light.
    And i cannot magnetise ,for example, a piece of iron just by showering it with a light of a certain colour.
    So where does the notion that its electromagnetic come from?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 4, 2012 #2


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  4. Jul 5, 2012 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    Yes you can. Maybe not iron, but spins in manganese: Source.

    In addition, the reflection of light can depend on the magnetization of the material: Kerr effect
    You can shift the polarization with magnetic fields: Faraday effect
    Or use the polarization to induce magnetic fields: Inverse Faraday effect

    You can use intense laser beams to accelerate electrons in a nearly-classical way, using the electric field component of the beam.

    It this enough electro-magnetic interaction? ;)
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