A report on LightElectron and Maxwell's equations

A triangular prism dispersing a beam of white light. The longer wavelengths (red) and the shorter wavelengths (blue) are separated.
Hydrogen atomic orbitals at different energy levels. The more opaque areas are where one is most likely to find an electron at any given time.
Gauss's law for magnetism: magnetic field lines never begin nor end but form loops or extend to infinity as shown here with the magnetic field due to a ring of current.
The electromagnetic spectrum, with the visible portion highlighted
A beam of electrons deflected in a circle by a magnetic field
In a geomagnetic storm, a surge in the flux of charged particles temporarily alters Earth's magnetic field, which induces electric fields in Earth's atmosphere, thus causing surges in electrical power grids. (Not to scale.)
J. J. Thomson
Magnetic-core memory (1954) is an application of Ampère's law. Each core stores one bit of data.
Beam of sun light inside the cavity of Rocca ill'Abissu at Fondachelli-Fantina, Sicily
Robert Millikan
Left: A schematic view of how an assembly of microscopic dipoles produces opposite surface charges as shown at top and bottom. Right: How an assembly of microscopic current loops add together to produce a macroscopically circulating current loop. Inside the boundaries, the individual contributions tend to cancel, but at the boundaries no cancelation occurs.
Due to refraction, the straw dipped in water appears bent and the ruler scale compressed when viewed from a shallow angle.
The Bohr model of the atom, showing states of an electron with energy quantized by the number n. An electron dropping to a lower orbit emits a photon equal to the energy difference between the orbits.
Hong Kong illuminated by colourful artificial lighting.
In quantum mechanics, the behavior of an electron in an atom is described by an orbital, which is a probability distribution rather than an orbit. In the figure, the shading indicates the relative probability to "find" the electron, having the energy corresponding to the given quantum numbers, at that point.
Pierre Gassendi.
Standard Model of elementary particles. The electron (symbol e) is on the left.
Christiaan Huygens.
Example of an antisymmetric wave function for a quantum state of two identical fermions in a 1-dimensional box. If the particles swap position, the wave function inverts its sign.
Thomas Young's sketch of a double-slit experiment showing diffraction. Young's experiments supported the theory that light consists of waves.
A schematic depiction of virtual electron–positron pairs appearing at random near an electron (at lower left)
A particle with charge q (at left) is moving with velocity v through a magnetic field B that is oriented toward the viewer. For an electron, q is negative so it follows a curved trajectory toward the top.
Here, Bremsstrahlung is produced by an electron e deflected by the electric field of an atomic nucleus. The energy change E2 − E1 determines the frequency f of the emitted photon.
Probability densities for the first few hydrogen atom orbitals, seen in cross-section. The energy level of a bound electron determines the orbital it occupies, and the color reflects the probability of finding the electron at a given position.
A lightning discharge consists primarily of a flow of electrons. The electric potential needed for lightning can be generated by a triboelectric effect.
Lorentz factor as a function of velocity. It starts at value 1 and goes to infinity as v approaches c.
Pair production of an electron and positron, caused by the close approach of a photon with an atomic nucleus. The lightning symbol represents an exchange of a virtual photon, thus an electric force acts. The angle between the particles is very small.
An extended air shower generated by an energetic cosmic ray striking the Earth's atmosphere
Aurorae are mostly caused by energetic electrons precipitating into the atmosphere.
During a NASA wind tunnel test, a model of the Space Shuttle is targeted by a beam of electrons, simulating the effect of ionizing gases during re-entry.

The speed calculated for electromagnetic waves, which could be predicted from experiments on charges and currents, matches the speed of light; indeed, light is one form of electromagnetic radiation (as are X-rays, radio waves, and others).

- Maxwell's equations

Deceleration of a free charged particle, such as an electron, can produce visible radiation: cyclotron radiation, synchrotron radiation and bremsstrahlung radiation are all examples of this.

- Light

In his 1924 dissertation Recherches sur la théorie des quanta (Research on Quantum Theory), French physicist Louis de Broglie hypothesized that all matter can be represented as a de Broglie wave in the manner of light.

- Electron

In 1873, he published A Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism, which contained a full mathematical description of the behavior of electric and magnetic fields, still known as Maxwell's equations.

- Light

When an electric field is applied to a dielectric material its molecules respond by forming microscopic electric dipoles – their atomic nuclei move a tiny distance in the direction of the field, while their electrons move a tiny distance in the opposite direction.

- Maxwell's equations

These interactions are described mathematically by Maxwell's equations.

- Electron
A triangular prism dispersing a beam of white light. The longer wavelengths (red) and the shorter wavelengths (blue) are separated.

2 related topics with Alpha



Electromagnetic radiation

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In physics, electromagnetic radiation (EMR) consists of waves of the electromagnetic (EM) field, propagating through space, carrying electromagnetic radiant energy.

In physics, electromagnetic radiation (EMR) consists of waves of the electromagnetic (EM) field, propagating through space, carrying electromagnetic radiant energy.

Shows the relative wavelengths of the electromagnetic waves of three different colours of light (blue, green, and red) with a distance scale in micrometers along the x-axis.
In electromagnetic radiation (such as microwaves from an antenna, shown here) the term "radiation" applies only to the parts of the electromagnetic field that radiate into infinite space and decrease in intensity by an inverse-square law of power, so that the total radiation energy that crosses through an imaginary spherical surface is the same, no matter how far away from the antenna the spherical surface is drawn. Electromagnetic radiation thus includes the far field part of the electromagnetic field around a transmitter. A part of the "near-field" close to the transmitter, forms part of the changing electromagnetic field, but does not count as electromagnetic radiation.
Electromagnetic waves can be imagined as a self-propagating transverse oscillating wave of electric and magnetic fields. This 3D animation shows a plane linearly polarized wave propagating from left to right. The electric and magnetic fields in such a wave are in-phase with each other, reaching minima and maxima together.
Representation of the electric field vector of a wave of circularly polarized electromagnetic radiation.
James Clerk Maxwell
Electromagnetic spectrum with visible light highlighted
Rough plot of Earth's atmospheric absorption and scattering (or opacity) of various wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation

It includes radio waves, microwaves, infrared, (visible) light, ultraviolet, X-rays, and gamma rays.

According to Maxwell's equations, a spatially varying electric field is always associated with a magnetic field that changes over time.

Later the particle of light was given the name photon, to correspond with other particles being described around this time, such as the electron and proton.

Photons are emitted by a cyan laser beam outside, orange laser beam inside calcite and its fluorescence


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Photons are emitted by a cyan laser beam outside, orange laser beam inside calcite and its fluorescence
Photoelectric effect: the emission of electrons from a metal plate caused by light quanta – photons.
The cone shows possible values of wave 4-vector of a photon. The "time" axis gives the angular frequency (rad⋅s−1) and the "space" axis represents the angular wavenumber (rad⋅m−1). Green and indigo represent left and right polarization
Thomas Young's double-slit experiment in 1801 showed that light can act as a wave, helping to invalidate early particle theories of light.
In 1900, Maxwell's theoretical model of light as oscillating electric and magnetic fields seemed complete. However, several observations could not be explained by any wave model of electromagnetic radiation, leading to the idea that light-energy was packaged into quanta described by . Later experiments showed that these light-quanta also carry momentum and, thus, can be considered particles: The photon concept was born, leading to a deeper understanding of the electric and magnetic fields themselves.
Up to 1923, most physicists were reluctant to accept that light itself was quantized. Instead, they tried to explain photon behaviour by quantizing only matter, as in the Bohr model of the hydrogen atom (shown here). Even though these semiclassical models were only a first approximation, they were accurate for simple systems and they led to quantum mechanics.
Photons in a Mach–Zehnder interferometer exhibit wave-like interference and particle-like detection at single-photon detectors.
Stimulated emission (in which photons "clone" themselves) was predicted by Einstein in his kinetic analysis, and led to the development of the laser. Einstein's derivation inspired further developments in the quantum treatment of light, which led to the statistical interpretation of quantum mechanics.
Different electromagnetic modes (such as those depicted here) can be treated as independent simple harmonic oscillators. A photon corresponds to a unit of energy E = hν in its electromagnetic mode.

A photon is an elementary particle that is a quantum of the electromagnetic field, including electromagnetic radiation such as light and radio waves, and the force carrier for the electromagnetic force.

The word quanta (singular quantum, Latin for how much) was used before 1900 to mean particles or amounts of different quantities, including electricity.

James Clerk Maxwell's 1865 prediction that light was an electromagnetic wave – which was confirmed experimentally in 1888 by Heinrich Hertz's detection of radio waves – seemed to be the final blow to particle models of light.