View Full Version : What makes light move?
02-22-2003, 10:42 PM
Um this has a very good possibility of being a dumb question, and I don't think I'm going to word it right, but last night I was wondering what makes light go so fast. Everyone is always telling me how the speed of light is constant and that light is really made up of these little particles called photons. Okay so I believe that but what is it that makes these photons move so fast. I mean to move I have to burn ATP to make my myosin and actin filaments ratchet up each other, and for a car to move it has to release the energy in carbon-hydrogen bonds. But what does light have to do it seems that these little particles just move around really fast for no apparent reason. Where is the motor for light? Okay thats my question see ya later.
02-22-2003, 10:59 PM
light ( if you want to talk about its speed ) is an electromagnetic wave. the empty space is characterized by two constants that define its electric and magnetic properties namely : permittivity and permeability. light is energy that bounces from electric wave to magentic and back on each oscillation ( thus called electromagnetic wave ). the speed of light was figured out by maxwell from these two constands long before the speed of light was actually measured. and long before the notion of a photon.
these constants change for materials other than vacuum, and the change is such that it always lowers the speed of light in these materials, thus light is fastest in vacuum.
radio waves travel at the same speed, because they are also electromagnetic radiation, so is heat, x-rays etc...
02-22-2003, 11:19 PM
you seem to be confused about setting something in motion, versus this something continuing its motion once movng.
theoretically you need energy to set something in motion, but it keeps going by itself in absense of friction. likewise you need energy to create light, but it keeps going by itself.
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