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Question on light

  1. Nov 7, 2014 #1
    We all know that light is a kind of wave,so I was wondering how it couldbe possible for wave to have sth to do on air molecules so to heat up the air,or is it because that wave is matter itself?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 8, 2014 #2


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    Gold Member

    One of the primary functions of a wave is that it transports energy. All the light is doing is transferring energy from one (hotter) object to another (cooler) object. This is the radiative form of heat transfer.
  4. Nov 8, 2014 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    Light is an electromagnetic wave (google for that and you'll find some good stuff).

    It interacts with matter because the electrons on the outside of atoms are electrically charged so are affected by changes in the electrical and magnetic fields around them (sort of the way that an object floating in water moves up and down when a wave comes by).

    Generally if the light is absorbed by the matter (instead of being reflected, as with a mirror, or passing through unaffected, as with glass or clear air) the energy of the wave will end up as heat.
  5. Nov 8, 2014 #4
    thank you so much!!!!!!:)our teacher only mention that it's trasverse.
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