APPENDIX B What Is Behind the Rules of Optics?



You will have to brace yourselves for this—not because it is difficult to understand, but because it is absolutely ridiculous: All we do is draw little arrows on a piece of paper—that’s all!—R. P. FEYNMAN

A lways in science we look for unifying concepts and general theories. Light is an electromagnetic wave, so it should be described by Maxwell’s theory of electromagnetism. But now we can go beyond that description and predict light intensity and the interaction of photons with electrons by means of quantum electrodynamics (QED). QED is a model of the world that is totally unfamiliar to most of us, but it is easy to see how it works without using advanced mathematics. R. P. Feynman, one of ...

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