before you bother posting anything I want you to stop and think hard and read this carefully.

All electromagnetic waves are covered by QM it is under a theory called quantum electrodynamics (QED).

It covers EM waves of all descriptions including light from the classic field of classical electromagnetism.

So put simply your classic electromagnetism is a simplification of QED ... so please don't try and use it to say QM has somehow got it wrong it is the other way around classic physics has got it wrong.

QED is the most tested accurate theory in science.

You can't argue this Maciej Marosz because anything you are going to use from classic EM theory is a simplification and stupidly wrong at some level.

I want you to type this so I know you realize it to be true

Classic EM theory is a simplification of the quantum electrodynamics and sometimes it will give really bad results if you take it too literally.

Where you seem to be going is one of those really bad simplifications because actual classic radio wave theory is slightly wrong as any good radio engineer knows.

So clear you can't argue this using classic electromagnetics because it is wrong ... it is a really bad simplification.


To actually launch radio waves through space under you classic electromagnetic theory you need a medium only there isn't one?????? So what does a radio wave travel in when it's in space laugh

Here read the classic description for EM waves it's actually funny if you think about it hard


As an electromagnetic wave, it has both electric and magnetic field components, which oscillate in a fixed relationship to one another, perpendicular to each other and perpendicular to the direction of energy and wave propagation.

Here you even draw it funny

Surely it has struck you the electric and magnetic dimensions are where??????? They are imaginary we skip over that fast at school if you are lucky students get confused and think it is a normal 3D drawing and accept itlaugh

Every now and again you get a really bright school kid who works out the other stupidity in that representation you have a magnetic and electric field being created between two empty points in space or coming up out of one, they usually think its a normal 3D drawing and then you have to try and explain well actually the points are imaginary they don't even really exist .. that usually goes down well cry

You get the odd student that works out the final problem when a radio wave spreads in actual 3D how the hell do the electric and magnetic fields spread out in 3D because they are drawn relative to the wavefront moving in 3D. So now you have energy jumping across space in classic physics which trying to explain is interesting laugh

Want some real fun try and draw the above waveform expanding in 3D, the magnetic and electric field are already making it 3D. So what is you drawing skills of 5 dimensions like? smile

Usually the smart students end up asking the question it almost always goes like this ... I love how the scientist answered it without discussing QM.

Do get the students problem he has worked it out our simplification is really really bad at this level.

Originally Posted By: student

I do not understand how a wave would move in 3D space. Can someone show me some animation or something? I can understand it in 2D space (ie on a graph) but not 3D. I also read somewhere that they do not oscilate in space, but in electromagnetic field strength and direction? Is this true?

The smart little student has work it out he needs 5 dimensions and it's not sitting well with his classical physics world laugh

I still really love the scientists answer just imagine them as little arrows he of coarse doesn't point out the problem the arrows can't point into any of the 3 real dimensions of space ... shhh go fast and the student might not see the problem he gave him the same stupid simplification with a different trick laugh

Ok it's a really bad simplification we use but it's the best most of us can come up with and most layman buy the story.

When we teach you this stuff we make simplifications to not have to talk about QM. We do that simplification at school levels to avoid discussing QM because you are unlikely as a layman to ever need it and its complicated.

What is funny is then watch and odd idiot layman try and use our simplifications back against us.

Please don't be an idiot you can't use our stupid simplifications EM waves don't really work the way we taught you at school they are QM in nature.

If that was where you were going with your post don't bother you should know and have learnt enough not to make that mistake you understand at least the basic nature of QM now.

If you want to discuss something different then fine continue on and ask away and lets see if I can help answer it .. I just don't want to waste time with silly classic physics stuff that we already know is wrong.

Edited by Orac (11/13/13 08:38 AM)
I believe in "Evil, Bad, Ungodly fantasy science and maths", so I am undoubtedly wrong to you.