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Unformatted text preview: mitted, it is always done so in discreet of packets called photons. These photons carry momentum, but not mass. Robert Hooke Christian Huygens Isaac Newton Wave Vs. Particles Light is an electromagnetic wave. As light travels through space an electric field and a magnetic field oscillate perpendicular to the wave direction and perpendicular to each other. We’ll learn more about these fields in later units. A light wave is transverse rather than longitudinal, since each field oscillates in a plane perpendicular to the direction of the wave. Unlike a pulse traveling down a length of rope, nothing is physically moving in a light wave. Light requires no medium! It can travel through space that contains matter (such as air, glass, or water) or through a vacuum. If light did need a medium in order to propagate, the earth would spend its days submerged in darkness and the sun would not be visible. Electromagnetic Waves Electric and magnetic fields affect charges. Light is an electric field coupled with a magnetic field. The two fie...
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This note was uploaded on 11/17/2011 for the course PHYS 121 taught by Professor Burgeson during the Fall '11 term at BYU.

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