Speed of light
The speed of light in vacuum, commonly denoted c, is a universal physical constant important in many areas of physics. Its exact value is 299792458 metres per second, it is exact because the unit of length, the metre, is defined from this constant, according to special relativity, c is the maximum speed at which all matter and hence information in the universe can travel. It is the speed at which all particles and changes of the associated fields travel in vacuum. Such particles and waves travel at c regardless of the motion of the source or the reference frame of the observer. In the theory of relativity, c interrelates space and time, the speed at which light propagates through transparent materials, such as glass or air, is less than c, the speed of radio waves in wire cables is slower than c. The ratio between c and the speed v at which light travels in a material is called the index n of the material. In communicating with distant space probes, it can take minutes to hours for a message to get from Earth to the spacecraft, the light seen from stars left them many years ago, allowing the study of the history of the universe by looking at distant objects.
The finite speed of light limits the theoretical maximum speed of computers. The speed of light can be used time of flight measurements to measure large distances to high precision. Ole Rømer first demonstrated in 1676 that light travels at a speed by studying the apparent motion of Jupiters moon Io. In 1865, James Clerk Maxwell proposed that light was an electromagnetic wave, in 1905, Albert Einstein postulated that the speed of light c with respect to any inertial frame is a constant and is independent of the motion of the light source. He explored the consequences of that postulate by deriving the theory of relativity and in doing so showed that the parameter c had relevance outside of the context of light and electromagnetism. After centuries of increasingly precise measurements, in 1975 the speed of light was known to be 299792458 m/s with a measurement uncertainty of 4 parts per billion. In 1983, the metre was redefined in the International System of Units as the distance travelled by light in vacuum in 1/299792458 of a second, as a result, the numerical value of c in metres per second is now fixed exactly by the definition of the metre.
The speed of light in vacuum is usually denoted by a lowercase c, the symbol V was used as an alternative symbol for the speed of light, introduced by James Clerk Maxwell in 1865. In 1856, Wilhelm Eduard Weber and Rudolf Kohlrausch had used c for a different constant shown to equal √2 times the speed of light in vacuum, in 1894, Paul Drude redefined c with its modern meaning. Einstein used V in his original German-language papers on special relativity in 1905, but in 1907 he switched to c, sometimes c is used for the speed of waves in any material medium, and c0 for the speed of light in vacuum. This article uses c exclusively for the speed of light in vacuum, since 1983, the metre has been defined in the International System of Units as the distance light travels in vacuum in 1⁄299792458 of a second
Electric displacement field
In physics, the electric displacement field, denoted by D, is a vector field that appears in Maxwells equations. It accounts for the effects of free and bound charge within materials while its sources are the charges only. D stands for displacement, as in the concept of displacement current in dielectrics. In free space, the displacement field is equivalent to flux density. In SI, it is expressed in units of coulomb per metre squared, in a dielectric material the presence of an electric field E causes the bound charges in the material to slightly separate, inducing a local electric dipole moment. The displacement field satisfies Gausss law in a dielectric, ∇ ⋅ D = ρ − ρ b = ρ f, electrostatic forces on ions or electrons in the material are governed by the electric field E in the material via the Lorentz Force. Also, D is not determined exclusively by the free charge, there is no free charge in such a material, but the inherent polarization gives rise to an electric field, demonstrating that the D field is not determined entirely by the free charge.
Thus D = ε0 E = ε E where ε = ε0 εr is the permittivity, in linear, isotropic media, ε is a constant. However, in linear anisotropic media it is a tensor, and it may depend upon the electric field and have a time dependent response. Explicit time dependence can arise if the materials are physically moving or changing in time, a different form of time dependence can arise in a time-invariant medium, as there can be a time delay between the imposition of the electric field and the resulting polarization of the material. In this case, P is a convolution of the impulse response susceptibility χ, the constraint of causality leads to the Kramers–Kronig relations, which place limitations upon the form of the frequency dependence. The phenomenon of a frequency-dependent permittivity is an example of material dispersion, in fact, all physical materials have some material dispersion because they cannot respond instantaneously to applied fields, but for many problems the frequency-dependence of ε can be neglected.
At a boundary, ⋅ n ^ = D1, ⊥ − D2, ⊥ = σ f, where σf is the charge density. The earliest known use of the term is from the year 1864, maxwell used calculus to exhibit Michael Faradays theory, that light is an electromagnetic phenomenon. Maxwell introduced the term D, specific capacity of electric induction, in a different from the modern. It was Oliver Heaviside who reformulated the complicated Maxwells equations to the modern form and it wasnt until 1884 that Heaviside, concurrently with Willard Gibbs and Heinrich Hertz, grouped the equations together into a distinct set. Consider an infinite parallel plate capacitor placed in space with no free charges present except on the capacitor, in SI units, the charge density on the plates is equal to the value of the D field between the plates. Outside the capacitor, the fields of the two cancel each other and | E | = | D | =0
System of measurement
A system of measurement is a collection of units of measurement and rules relating them to each other. Systems of measurement have historically been important and defined for the purposes of science and commerce, systems of measurement in modern use include the metric system, the imperial system, and United States customary units. The French Revolution gave rise to the system, and this has spread around the world. In most systems, length and time are base quantities, science developments showed that either electric charge or electric current could be added to extend the set of base quantities by which many other metrological units could be easily defined. Other quantities, such as power and speed, are derived from the set, for example. Such arrangements were satisfactory in their own contexts, the preference for a more universal and consistent system only gradually spread with the growth of science. Changing a measurement system has substantial financial and cultural costs which must be offset against the advantages to be obtained using a more rational system.
However pressure built up, including scientists and engineers for conversion to a more rational. The unifying characteristic is that there was some definition based on some standard, eventually cubits and strides gave way to customary units to met the needs of merchants and scientists. In the metric system and other recent systems, a basic unit is used for each base quantity. Often secondary units are derived from the units by multiplying by powers of ten. Thus the basic unit of length is the metre, a distance of 1.234 m is 1,234 millimetres. Metrication is complete or nearly complete in almost all countries, US customary units are heavily used in the United States and to some degree in Liberia. Traditional Burmese units of measurement are used in Burma, U. S. units are used in limited contexts in Canada due to the large volume of trade, there is considerable use of Imperial weights and measures, despite de jure Canadian conversion to metric. In the United States, metric units are used almost universally in science, widely in the military, and partially in industry, but customary units predominate in household use.
At retail stores, the liter is a used unit for volume, especially on bottles of beverages. Some other standard non-SI units are still in use, such as nautical miles and knots in aviation. Metric systems of units have evolved since the adoption of the first well-defined system in France in 1795, during this evolution the use of these systems has spread throughout the world, first to non-English-speaking countries, and to English speaking countries
International System of Units
The International System of Units is the modern form of the metric system, and is the most widely used system of measurement. It comprises a coherent system of units of measurement built on seven base units, the system establishes a set of twenty prefixes to the unit names and unit symbols that may be used when specifying multiples and fractions of the units. The system was published in 1960 as the result of an initiative began in 1948. It is based on the system of units rather than any variant of the centimetre-gram-second system. The motivation for the development of the SI was the diversity of units that had sprung up within the CGS systems, the International System of Units has been adopted by most developed countries, the adoption has not been universal in all English-speaking countries. The metric system was first implemented during the French Revolution with just the metre and kilogram as standards of length, in the 1830s Carl Friedrich Gauss laid the foundations for a coherent system based on length and time.
In the 1860s a group working under the auspices of the British Association for the Advancement of Science formulated the requirement for a coherent system of units with base units and derived units. Meanwhile, in 1875, the Treaty of the Metre passed responsibility for verification of the kilogram, in 1921, the Treaty was extended to include all physical quantities including electrical units originally defined in 1893. The units associated with these quantities were the metre, second, kelvin, in 1971, a seventh base quantity, amount of substance represented by the mole, was added to the definition of SI. On 11 July 1792, the proposed the names metre, are and grave for the units of length, capacity. The committee proposed that multiples and submultiples of these units were to be denoted by decimal-based prefixes such as centi for a hundredth, on 10 December 1799, the law by which the metric system was to be definitively adopted in France was passed. Prior to this, the strength of the magnetic field had only been described in relative terms.
The technique used by Gauss was to equate the torque induced on a magnet of known mass by the earth’s magnetic field with the torque induced on an equivalent system under gravity. The resultant calculations enabled him to assign dimensions based on mass, length, a French-inspired initiative for international cooperation in metrology led to the signing in 1875 of the Metre Convention. Initially the convention only covered standards for the metre and the kilogram, one of each was selected at random to become the International prototype metre and International prototype kilogram that replaced the mètre des Archives and kilogramme des Archives respectively. Each member state was entitled to one of each of the prototypes to serve as the national prototype for that country. Initially its prime purpose was a periodic recalibration of national prototype metres. The official language of the Metre Convention is French and the version of all official documents published by or on behalf of the CGPM is the French-language version
Coulombs law, or Coulombs inverse-square law, is a law of physics that describes force interacting between static electrically charged particles. The force of interaction between the charges is attractive if the charges have opposite signs and repulsive if like-signed, the law was first published in 1784 by French physicist Charles Augustin de Coulomb and was essential to the development of the theory of electromagnetism. It is analogous to Isaac Newtons inverse-square law of universal gravitation, Coulombs law can be used to derive Gausss law, and vice versa. The law has been tested extensively, and all observations have upheld the laws principle, ancient cultures around the Mediterranean knew that certain objects, such as rods of amber, could be rubbed with cats fur to attract light objects like feathers. Thales was incorrect in believing the attraction was due to a magnetic effect and he coined the New Latin word electricus to refer to the property of attracting small objects after being rubbed.
This association gave rise to the English words electric and electricity, however, he did not generalize or elaborate on this. In 1767, he conjectured that the force between charges varied as the square of the distance. In 1769, Scottish physicist John Robison announced that, according to his measurements, in the early 1770s, the dependence of the force between charged bodies upon both distance and charge had already been discovered, but not published, by Henry Cavendish of England. Finally, in 1785, the French physicist Charles-Augustin de Coulomb published his first three reports of electricity and magnetism where he stated his law and this publication was essential to the development of the theory of electromagnetism. The torsion balance consists of a bar suspended from its middle by a thin fiber, the fiber acts as a very weak torsion spring. In Coulombs experiment, the balance was an insulating rod with a metal-coated ball attached to one end. The ball was charged with a charge of static electricity.
The two charged balls repelled one another, twisting the fiber through an angle, which could be read from a scale on the instrument. By knowing how much force it took to twist the fiber through a given angle, the force is along the straight line joining them. If the two charges have the sign, the electrostatic force between them is repulsive, if they have different signs, the force between them is attractive. Coulombs law can be stated as a mathematical expression. The vector form of the equation calculates the force F1 applied on q1 by q2, if r12 is used instead, the effect on q2 can be found. It can be calculated using Newtons third law, F2 = −F1
Converting from one dimensional unit to another is often somewhat complex. Dimensional analysis, or more specifically the method, known as the unit-factor method, is a widely used technique for such conversions using the rules of algebra. The concept of physical dimension was introduced by Joseph Fourier in 1822, Physical quantities that are measurable have the same dimension and can be directly compared to each other, even if they are originally expressed in differing units of measure. If physical quantities have different dimensions, they cannot be compared by similar units, hence, it is meaningless to ask whether a kilogram is greater than, equal to, or less than an hour. Any physically meaningful equation will have the dimensions on their left and right sides. Checking for dimensional homogeneity is an application of dimensional analysis. Dimensional analysis is routinely used as a check of the plausibility of derived equations and computations. It is generally used to categorize types of quantities and units based on their relationship to or dependence on other units.
Many parameters and measurements in the sciences and engineering are expressed as a concrete number – a numerical quantity. Often a quantity is expressed in terms of other quantities, for example, speed is a combination of length and time. Compound relations with per are expressed with division, e. g.60 mi/1 h, other relations can involve multiplication, powers, or combinations thereof. A base unit is a unit that cannot be expressed as a combination of other units, for example, units for length and time are normally chosen as base units. Units for volume, can be factored into the units of length. Sometimes the names of units obscure that they are derived units, for example, an ampere is a unit of electric current, which is equivalent to electric charge per unit time and is measured in coulombs per second, so 1 A =1 C/s. Similarly, one newton is 1 kg⋅m/s2, percentages are dimensionless quantities, since they are ratios of two quantities with the same dimensions. In other words, the % sign can be read as 1/100, derivatives with respect to a quantity add the dimensions of the variable one is differentiating with respect to on the denominator.
Thus, position has the dimension L, derivative of position with respect to time has dimension LT−1 – length from position, time from the derivative, the second derivative has dimension LT−2. In economics, one distinguishes between stocks and flows, a stock has units of units, while a flow is a derivative of a stock, in some contexts, dimensional quantities are expressed as dimensionless quantities or percentages by omitting some dimensions
The metre or meter, is the base unit of length in the International System of Units. The metre is defined as the length of the path travelled by light in a vacuum in 1/299792458 seconds, the metre was originally defined in 1793 as one ten-millionth of the distance from the equator to the North Pole. In 1799, it was redefined in terms of a metre bar. In 1960, the metre was redefined in terms of a number of wavelengths of a certain emission line of krypton-86. In 1983, the current definition was adopted, the imperial inch is defined as 0.0254 metres. One metre is about 3 3⁄8 inches longer than a yard, Metre is the standard spelling of the metric unit for length in nearly all English-speaking nations except the United States and the Philippines, which use meter. Measuring devices are spelled -meter in all variants of English, the suffix -meter has the same Greek origin as the unit of length. This range of uses is found in Latin, English. Thus calls for measurement and moderation. In 1668 the English cleric and philosopher John Wilkins proposed in an essay a decimal-based unit of length, as a result of the French Revolution, the French Academy of Sciences charged a commission with determining a single scale for all measures.
In 1668, Wilkins proposed using Christopher Wrens suggestion of defining the metre using a pendulum with a length which produced a half-period of one second, christiaan Huygens had observed that length to be 38 Rijnland inches or 39.26 English inches. This is the equivalent of what is now known to be 997 mm, no official action was taken regarding this suggestion. In the 18th century, there were two approaches to the definition of the unit of length. One favoured Wilkins approach, to define the metre in terms of the length of a pendulum which produced a half-period of one second. The other approach was to define the metre as one ten-millionth of the length of a quadrant along the Earths meridian, that is, the distance from the Equator to the North Pole. This means that the quadrant would have defined as exactly 10000000 metres at that time. To establish a universally accepted foundation for the definition of the metre, more measurements of this meridian were needed. This portion of the meridian, assumed to be the length as the Paris meridian, was to serve as the basis for the length of the half meridian connecting the North Pole with the Equator