In 1861, James Maxwell, building on Michael Faraday's ‘Thoughts on Ray Vibrations’ (1846), formulated a set of equations, containing 20 variables, that defined the nature of the electromagnetic force. These equations implicitly required the existence of electromagnetic waves traveling at the speed of light, the concluding gist of which being that light is made of an electromagnetic force.
In 1873, Maxwell, in his Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism, gave the following diagram of the spatial relationship between electromagnetic fields ‘at a given instant’ along a ray of ‘plane-polarized light’, as he describes things:
showing the magnetic field B and an electric field E, in the shape of waves, oscillating perpendicular to each other.
The following are related quotes:
- “To facilitate our comprehension of the concept of organic existence, let us first take a look at mineral structures. Minerals, whose varied components are so solid and unchanging, do not seem to hold to any limits or order when then combine, although laws do determine these conditions. Different components can be easily separated and recombined into new combinations. These combinations can again be taken apart, and the mineral we thought destroyed can soon be restored to its original perfection. The main characteristic of minerals that concerns us here is the indifference their components show toward the form of their combination, that is, their coordination or subordination. There are, by nature, stronger bonds or weaker bonds between these components, and when they evidence themselves, they resemble attractions between human beings. This is why chemists speak of elective affinities, even though the forces that move mineral components [or humans] one way or another and create mineral [human] structures are often purely external in origin, which by no means implies that we deny them the delicate portion of nature’s vital inspiration that is their due.”
- “Was it a god that wrote these signs, revealing the hidden and mysterious forces of nature around me, which fill my heart with quiet joy?”
- “I can't stop but laugh at myself when I think that I am not ‘alive’ or I am not moving myself.”
- Thims, Libb. (2010). Gravity: Electromagnetic Force” (YT), Human Chemistry 101, Mar 26.
- Electromagnetic force – Hmolpedia 2020.