RE: virus: Re : The Speed of Light

Jason McVean (
Tue, 19 Nov 96 12:45:25 MST

JPS wrote:
> Hakeeb wrote:
> > Isn't there a minimum wavelength for light such that even one
> > cycle is bigger that an atom?
> (I think you mean maximum wavelength, minimum frequency?) Since
> photons may be emitted for a variety of reasons (like an electron
> jumping from one shell to another), the number of possible wave-
> lengths should vary greatly. It seems conceivable that infini-
> tesimal transitions could take place between nearly-identical
> states in a big atom, releasing super-low energy photons of
> gigantic wavelength, low frequency.

There are also continuous processes such as free-free absorption
and black body emission that can in principle give arbitrarily
low energy (long wavelength) photons.

But to examine very small things, you want small wavelength (high
energy) photons. These can be dangerous and destructive so
perhaps that is the reason for electron microscopes.


Dept. of Physics and Astronomy University of Calgary

"I am as close to you as the veins in your neck when I say to you, in
my whispering lisp, I, too, began as a boy." Mark Richard - Fishboy