Fundamentals of Electromagnetic Radiation
In physics the photon is the gauge boson for
electromagnetism. Photons are also carriers of electromagnetic
radiation. What I do not understand is how electromagnetic radiation
and electromagnetism are linked. If photons are what elementary
particles use to exert forces on each other, does this mean that
light is the electromagnetic interaction between electrically
You are correct. Light is a combination of oscillating electric and
magnetic fields. These fields are emitted by electric charges. These
electric and magnetic fields then affect the motion of other charges.
At the level of individual particles, the fields are always oscillating.
At the level of charged balls or current flowing through an antenna, the
oscillations are too small and too fast to detect unless the
oscillations of the charges themselves can be detected.
Dr. Ken Mellendorf
Illinois Central College
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Update: June 2012