1831 Michael Faraday discovered electromagnetic induction. This is where a
changing magnetic field creates an electric field. The two fields are at right
angles to each other and an electrical field is created whenever there is a
changing magnetic field.
1862 James Clerk Maxwell devised a theory linking electricity and magnetism
together, using Faraday’s discoveries. Faraday had found that a magnetic field
was created around a wire carrying an electrical current, and that a changing
magnetic field could create an electrical current (the principle of
that a changing magnetic field could create a changing electrical field, and
that a changing electrical field could produce a changing magnetic field.
Maxwell made this suggestion because if it were proved to be the case then the
laws governing electricity and magnetism became both simple and symmetrical. It
was difficult to provide evidence for Maxwell’s assumption because it was very
difficult to detect a weak magnetic field at the time but one consequence of
Maxwell’s prediction was that any electric field produced by a changing
magnetic field must itself produce a magnetic field, and vice versa, ie. one
effect must always be linked to the other.
This led Maxwell to
predict that an oscillating electric charge would produce an electromagnetic
wave consisting of a fluctuating electric field accompanied by a fluctuating
magnetic field of the same frequency and in phase with it. Both fields would
vary sinusoidally at right angles to each other and would oscillate at right
angles to the direction of travel of the wave (ie. transverse) but no medium
would be required for the wave to travel.
Maxwell also showed
that the speed of these electromagnetic waves in any medium would be given by
and in a vacuum by
where m0 and e0 are the permeability and permittivity of free space respectively.
This equation gave a value for the speed of electromagnetic waves which was in very close agreement with the measured value for the speed of light waves.
It became accepted
within the scientific community that light was an electromagnetic wave.
follow this link the view an animation and have a go at some calculations
The octagonal mirror is capable of being rotated at high speed. As the speed of rotation increases the image first disappears and then reappears at a certain frequency of rotation, f. Increased rotation makes the image disappear but it reappears at frequencies 2f, 3f, 4f etc. The reason why the image appears at frequency f is because in the time it takes for light to travel from the lamp to the observer the mirror has rotated through exactly 1/8 of a rotation. The trip time is exactly equal to 1/8f. If the trip distance is D then the speed of light is 8fD.
Michelson made a
large number of measurements of the speed of light. A plot of the number of
observations against the measured speed indicated that the likely value was 299
774 kms-1 which is very close to the currently agreed value of 299
its magic the human voice may be projected around the earth in less time than it
takes to pronounce the word”radio”
History of radio to 1926.
In 1888 Heinrich
Hertz produced a spark between the terminals of an induction coil (similar to a
transformer but using dc to provide a pulse). A short distance away a spark
occurred in a gap in another isolated loop of wire. Something had passed from
the spark gap in the induction coil – the transmitter- to the spark gap in the
loop – the receiver.
Hertz rapidly determined the properties of this new radiation and he showed that
· the radiation travelled in straight lines and could produce phenomena similar to diffraction
· the radiation was plane polarised ie. it consisted of transverse vibrations
· the radiation obeyed the law of reflection
the radiation could be refracted
Hertz knew that the
newly discovered waves were reflected by metals and he measured the speed of
these waves by setting up a stationary wave and measuring the distance between
adjacent nodes. The velocity was found to be approximately that expected for