In contrast, light waves can travel through a vacuum, and do not require a medium.
In empty space, the wave does not dissipate (grow smaller) no matter how far it travels, because the wave is not interacting with anything else.
However, light can also travel within some materials, like glass and water.
Why can light waves travel through a vacuum?
Light (and other elementary “particles”) are not particles at all, and are not waves at all. So, in the end, light can travel through a vacuum because it is composed of quanta called photons, and it is a property of photons that they require no medium of transmission.
Which waves can travel through a vacuum?
Electromagnetic waves are waves which can travel through the vacuum of outer space. Mechanical waves, unlike electromagnetic waves, require the presence of a material medium in order to transport their energy from one location to another.
Can radio waves travel through a vacuum?
Electromagnetic waves differ from mechanical waves in that they do not require a medium to propagate. This means that electromagnetic waves can travel not only through air and solid materials, but also through the vacuum of space. This proved that radio waves were a form of light!
Can light be seen in a vacuum?
Light is not visible in a vacuum. We can see real objects only when they are within light field or waves created by a light source however some animals like bats may be able to ‘see’ objects through sound waves.