UCSB Science Line
Sponge Spicules Nerve Cells Galaxy Abalone Shell Nickel Succinate X-ray Lens Lupine
UCSB Science Line
Home
How it Works
Ask a Question
Search Topics
Webcasts
Our Scientists
Science Links
Contact Information
Since light is electromagnetic radiation, would it be possible to send magnetic charges on a beam of light, or some other way using light?
Answer 1:

As far as we know, there's no such thing as magnetic charges (not like there are electric charges). This is because magnetic fields are due to the movement of electric charges as an effect of relativity. In fact originally relativity came from studying the interaction between magnetic and electric fields. Basically the best way to think about it is that all magnetic fields come from the movement of electric charges; and as soon as they stop moving, there are no magnetic fields (so there are no magnetic charges).


Answer 2:

I don't know what you mean by "charges". Light is an alternating series of waves of electric and magnetic field, where the two fields are ninety degrees out of phase. The strength of the fields ('amplitude') is the intensity of the light, and the alternation speed is the frequency. The energy of the light is the product of the amplitude and the frequency.



Click Here to return to the search form.

University of California, Santa Barbara Materials Research Laboratory National Science Foundation
This program is co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation and UCSB School-University Partnerships
Copyright © 2015 The Regents of the University of California,
All Rights Reserved.
UCSB Terms of Use