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My model of light.

  1. Jun 26, 2009 #1
    First I would like to say, I'm not that old and only know very basic things about physics i.e. Newtonian physics, also, I've not learnt the maths for electromagnetic physics, so no need to try and explain it to me using that. I'm basically asking if you could tell me if I have a good model for imagining what light is.

    So we have have 1 piece of rubber on a body of water, there are no waves what so ever, then someone throws a second piece of rubber on the water, this creates a wave, this wave then reaches the first piece of rubber and it starts oscillating up and down.

    The water would be the electromagnetic field.
    The 2 pieces of rubber would be electrons or any thing capable of emitting light.
    The wave would be the light (photon?).

    Remember this isn't suppose to be mathematically accurate, just a mind image.

    I'm just saying light is actually the electromagnetic field (moving outwards at all time?) that just happened to have an oscillating source?

  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 26, 2009 #2
    Newtonian physics does a poor job of modeling light. It is essentially because of this fact that modern physics has been so successful.

    Electromagnetic theory is a good model as long as you're dealing with big things. Light, on a large scale looks like a wave.

    When you work with smaller things like electrons, things get messy and you have to break out quantum theory.
  4. Jun 26, 2009 #3
    Yes, it is quite a working model of light. Emitting means moving outwards, correct. But waves from other sources can reach the original source and make it move (= incident wave scattering).

  5. Jun 26, 2009 #4
    light is the quantum.relative equivalence of sound

    There are four kinds of waves in verse fluid.
    Waves that bob up and down by surface are Rayleigh waves.
    The fastest travel through as p or sound or light waves.

  6. Jun 26, 2009 #5


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    One thing to note though, an electromagnetic wave is created by currents that change in time. So you need to have a moving charge(s) to have radiation.
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