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Light waves traveling through air

  1. Feb 11, 2016 #1
    Even though light is a transverse wave it travels through air . Why?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 11, 2016
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 11, 2016 #2

    BvU

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    Hi,

    It propagates. Just like a wave in the water is transverse and still propagates.
     
  4. Feb 11, 2016 #3
    Light is not a mechanical wave through air. Indeed you cannot have transverse mechanical waves in a gas because these (the mechanical waves) rely on shear stress in the medium. But light does not need the air to propagate, air is more "in the way" rather than an element necessary for propagation of EM waves.
     
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