Doesn't light particles travel from the sun to the earth in a straight line without curving in the space between?

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  • 4 weeks ago
    Favorite Answer

    No, because Earth's mass creates a gravity well that curves the space time continuum. In addition, Earth's atmosphere refracts light and slows down the speed of light. If you use classical Newtonian mechanics, the index of refraction of the atmosphere is 1.0003, but that is an average. Earths atmosphere refracts sunlight,so sunlight does not travel in straight lines. Sun light does not travel in straight lines in quantum mechanics.

    Sunlight definitely DOES exist in space. A medium is NOT required for electromagnetic radiation, a.k.a light.

    Goring, gravity does NOT accelerated the speed of light. Light does NOT travel in straight lines. Euclidean or Cartesian geometry is NOT the geometry of the REAL Universe. This is WHY scientists insist you define the inertial frame of reference and specify which coordinate system you ate using and what the origin point of the coordinate system is. It is assumed that Earth's core is the origin point. 

    This was calculus 3. 

    Sunlight does NOT travel I  straight lines in the teal Universe. The speed of light is NOT constant. 

  • 3 weeks ago

    lights path is warped by gravity fields,proven,einstein predicted it,

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  • 3 weeks ago

    Yes, but Gravity can bend their paths

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  • 3 weeks ago

    Imagine the sun shine out its light all ove the body or the sphere of the sun in all directions of it surface through the space, non stop.

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  • Tom S
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    From the reference frame of the light, it travels a straight path through space-time, yes, but gravity "warps" space-time, so from an external reference frame, it would follow the slight curvatures in space-time produced by other massive objects in the area.

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  • 4 weeks ago

    The only thing that could make light curve would be the gravity of Mercury and Venus. If the light doesn't pass close to those planets, then it doesn't curve.  The gravity of the other planets, and the relative motion of the Earth and Sun, have insignificant effect (less than 10 micrometers).

    A light ray passing very close to Mercury is deflected by 0.49 arcseconds, and by Venus  0.74 arcseconds. But at a distance of 1000 planet radius, the deflection is only 1/1000-th of those values.  That would be about 0.3 degrees from Venus, as seen from Earth.

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  • 4 weeks ago

    Light does travel forever in a straight path. Cooper radiometer proves photons have some mass and kinetic energy.

    Photons, much a wave front of sub atomic particle can be reflected, refracted, and with enough gravity, their path drawn to the mass curving the path.(gravitational lensing)

    They can be absorbed, changing to a different state of energy, heat being one of those.

    Photons from the sun go in a straight line until they collide with gas molecules in our atmosphere, much scattering everywhere depending on their wavelength.

    (Raleigh scattering) Some photons make it through to get to earths surface but our atmosphere is quite dense, so that means some element of refraction also.

    Ever notice the lensing effect of sunlight passing through slotted blinds.

    Even they distort the path of light. Take that down less than a wavelength, now you have polarized light.

    Interesting stuff to play with.

    • neb
      Lv 7
      4 weeks agoReport

      No, light does not follow a straight line. It follows a geodesic in spacetime. And no, a radiometer does NOT prove photons have some mass.

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  • Zirp
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    pretty much a straight line, unless some huge mass pulls them aside.

    they get refracted by our athmosphere though

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  • Clive
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    No.  They can be slightly bent by gravity, so it depends what they pass by on the way.

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  • Nyx
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    Photons follow the curvature of spacetime.

    https://www.physicsoftheuniverse.com/topics_relati...

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    • neb
      Lv 7
      4 weeks agoReport

      daniel g - try actually studying general relativity before you make comments like this

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  • Mark
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    No, as long as there are gravitation forces, they bend, though not by very much.  (In other words, you couldn't see the other side of the sun, which is basically how a "cloaking device" works, by bending the light around something, so as to appear to be not there.)

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