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I know there has to be a way to measure it but, it moves to fast to do so. If everything is made out of matter then wouldn't that mean that light is made of matter also? Light has to be made of particles and atoms because everything else is, so what exactly is it besides electromagnetic radiation? What is the electromagnetic radiation made of?
ChessMonkey ChessMonkey 18-21, M 7 Answers Nov 22, 2012 in Education

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The absence of dark

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To give you a brief synopsis of the current popular theories on the modern science concerning light: nobody really knows, we're all just guessing.<br />
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Einstein coined the equation Energy = Mass times the speed of light squared. Meaning that all mass is relative to a certain amount of energy. So theoretically, energy (including electromagnetic energy, or light) can be converted into matter and vice versa. But that doesn't tell us anything about what light actually is - just a physical principle noting how matter and energy tend to govern themselves.<br />
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That's the thing about science- it's just a desc<x>ription of the observable universe. There's a very limited amount that can be observed with our sense of sight- all of which is ba<x>sed on detecting visible light.<br />
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For all we know, light may be some kind of interface with sentient extra-spacial entities trying to communicate with us by breaching space-time, but we're too dumb to understand the meaning so we erroneously assume that everything we see is there for our amusement. Who knows?

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The opposite of dark

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Light is a spectrum of heat/radiation. What we percieve as light is really just a spectrum of heat that we have evolved to see as a visible radiation. It's both a particle and a wave so that should tell you light doesn't give a ****. Light is also the fastest thing in the universe, but when we look up into the sky we're looking at old photographs. <br />
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Since we are only working off what our eyes interpret, that means that nothing looks like what you think it does. If we saw things in the ultraviolet spectrum or infrared, I'm pretty sure not only art would be different our whole society would be foreign. Of course I could be wrong and that some colors or interpretations of colors were universal.

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That totally makes sense. What I can't figure out though is light is electromagnetic radiation, but all radiation comes from something and is just some element that has technically come apart from itself. So what is this radiation made of. What element did it start as? I wonder if maybe its an element that we know exists but we haven't discovered yet if that makes sense.

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It's not an element, light is a coincidental effect of a chemical reaction causing heat. the sun is a perpetual fusion explosion. The light we see is just a visible spectrum of the heat radiation from that fusion reaction. So it's not really something, but more the byproduct of something happening. After all nothing emits light unless it has lots of heat, right?

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that's not completely accurate. Take a look at glow sticks and glow in the dark paint. Neither of those require heat to give off light. I understand both of those are still chemical reactions but the point is that light isn't caused just by heat. There is more than one thing that causes light. And if you look at what radiation is, it doesn't quite make sense to say that light is radiation but it isn't actually something. I'm not trying to argue with you I just want you to know my thoughts so you can elaborate.

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I wasn't speaking biologically, only astronomically. There are many animals and plants with bioluminescence, but outside of living things with evolutionary advantages without heat there is no light. Especially in space. Just because your flashlight isn't hot doesn't mean the filament isn't burning white hot.

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Good point. I just thought while in the other room, what if light actually is cause by an unknown element that has an atomic number of LESS than 1? I know that isn't exactly possible but what I'm saying is what if it isn't an element but PARTS of an element or elements?

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Maybe light is actually movement. Heat causes movement and it would make sense to say that when you shine light on something that it causes it to move faster and that causes a small ammount of friction that we are able to see.

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I doubt it. If light itself was an element or actual kind of matter I'm pretty sure a physicist or Chemist would have noticed that.

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There have been several different theories about light including particle, wave, quantum, and electromagnetic. there has been over 200 years between the 1st theory and the most recent. It's very likely that scientists haven't discovered what light actually is yet. I don't believe any of the theories are completely accurate. I'm guessing that it's probably a mix between multiple theories.

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Since most of the world's recent advances have been made by utilizing the discovery that light acts as both a particle and a wave, chances are that it's a unique form of radiation. Of course I'm not an expert, but that's just my two cents.

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It's kinda funny we are seemingly having a debate on what light is, when in all reality nobody knows for sure what it is, because nobody can scientifically prove what it actually is. But, you did shine some light on it for me and help me with my question. lol thanks

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Light is both a particle and a wave. Particles of light are called photons. They have no mass.

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