Read the story here. Advertise at Before It's News here.
Profile image
By Universe Today (Reporter)
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views
Last hour:
Last 24 hours:

Astronomy Jargon 101: Electromagnetism

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

In this series we are exploring the weird and wonderful world of astronomy jargon! There’s a lot to see with today’s topic: electromagnetism!

We’ve known about features of the electromagnetic force for a long time. We knew that the Sun generated light (and we debated if the Moon did too). We knew that we felt warm by the fire. We had discovered “lodestones”, which were seemingly magical rocks that would always point North. We witnessed lightning and were wary of electric eels.

Over time, we came to understand even more, especially through scientific investigation. We found that light could be described as a wave, and that white light could be split into the colors of the rainbow. We discovered infrared radiation, which was invisible to us but acted exactly like any other light. We realized that the electricity in lightning was exactly the same as the electricity flowing through our nerves. We deduced that strong magnets could create weaker ones in special types of materials.

Beginning in the 1800’s, we slowly started to realize that all of these were connected. Running electricity through a loop of wire generated a magnetic field. A magnet passed through the center of the same hoop could generate an electric current. Two electric wires would attract or repel, exactly as two magnets could.

It was Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell who figured it all out in the 1860’s. He developed a theory of electromagnetism that united all these disparate phenomena under a single theory. It was the greatest act of physical insight since Isaac Newton’s discovery that gravity was universal.

Maxwell’s work gave us the electromagnetic force. The force that keeps the magnet on your fridge is the exact same force that powers your cell phone. It’s also the exact same force responsible for light; Maxwell realized that what we call light is just a bunch of electric and magnetic waves traveling together.

The electromagnetic force is, along with gravity, the most familiar of the four forces of nature. Today we know that the force is carried by photons, which are massless particles that have infinite range and travel at the speed of light. Complex interactions of photons are responsible for the entire rich variety of electromagnetism.

The post Astronomy Jargon 101: Electromagnetism appeared first on Universe Today.


Before It’s News® is a community of individuals who report on what’s going on around them, from all around the world.

Anyone can join.
Anyone can contribute.
Anyone can become informed about their world.

"United We Stand" Click Here To Create Your Personal Citizen Journalist Account Today, Be Sure To Invite Your Friends.

Please Help Support BeforeitsNews by trying our Natural Health Products below!

Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 888-388-7003 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 888-388-7003 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Humic & Fulvic Trace Minerals Complex - Nature's most important supplement! Vivid Dreams again!

HNEX HydroNano EXtracellular Water - Improve immune system health and reduce inflammation

Ultimate Clinical Potency Curcumin - Natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and so much more.

MitoCopper - Bioavailable Copper destroys pathogens and gives you more energy. (See Blood Video)
Oxy Powder - Natural Colon Cleanser!  Cleans out toxic buildup with oxygen! 
Nascent Iodine - Promotes detoxification, mental focus and thyroid health.
Smart Meter Cover -  Reduces Smart Meter radiation by 96%!  (See Video)

Report abuse


Your Comments
Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

Load more ...




Email this story
Email this story

If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.