On-demand control of terahertz and infrared waves

The ability to control infrared and terahertz waves using magnetic or electric fields is one of the great challenges in physics that could revolutionise opto-electronics, telecommunications and medical diagnostics. A theory ...

Dashing the dream of ideal 'invisibility' cloaks for stress waves

Whether Harry Potter's invisibility cloak, which perfectly steers light waves around objects to make them invisible, will ever become reality remains to be seen, but perfecting a more crucial cloak is impossible, a new study ...

Three ways to travel at (nearly) the speed of light

One hundred years ago today, on May 29, 1919, measurements of a solar eclipse offered verification for Einstein's theory of general relativity. Even before that, Einstein had developed the theory of special relativity, which ...

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Electromagnetic radiation

Electromagnetic radiation (sometimes abbreviated EMR) is a ubiquitous phenomenon that takes the form of self-propagating waves in a vacuum or in matter. It consists of electric and magnetic field components which oscillate in phase perpendicular to each other and perpendicular to the direction of energy propagation. Electromagnetic radiation is classified into several types according to the frequency of its wave; these types include (in order of increasing frequency and decreasing wavelength): radio waves, microwaves, terahertz radiation, infrared radiation, visible light, ultraviolet radiation, X-rays and gamma rays. A small and somewhat variable window of frequencies is sensed by the eyes of various organisms; this is what we call the visible spectrum, or light.

EM radiation carries energy and momentum that may be imparted to matter with which it interacts.

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