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Propagation of EM waves

  1. Jan 31, 2016 #1

    If we consider propagation of sound through a medium other than vacuum, we mean, when sound is produced by a vibrating speaker diaphragm, it gives periodic jolts to the molecules and atoms present in the medium or air. These "pushes" are transferred to all adjacent atoms until finally few manage to reach our ears, which is then perceived as sound.

    Now, in case of EM waves, the energy excites WHAT kind of matter so that the energy passes on to next? What is the medium of EM waves? What is it that's common in vacuum and matter? Dark matter/Dark energy?

    From Einsteins GR theory, if presence of matter curves or bends 3-D space, then is there a possibility that the electric charges, + and - produce curves or bends in dimensions other than what we can perceive? And do those particles which EM waves excite to propagate, probably exist in this imperceptible dimension?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 31, 2016 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    It does not have one, and it does not need one.
    Electromagnetic fields can exist in a vacuum, and propagate on their own there, following the Maxwell equations.

    If that sounds strange, think about this question: Does an atom need a medium to fly through (otherwise) empty space? Of course not. Why should light then?
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