Electromagnetic Waves (To the tune of “The Circle Game”, by Joni Mitchell)
Words by Molly Sheehan

Recording: mp3
(vocal by Molly Sheehan, Guitar by J. D. Dougherty, Recording Engineer: Walter Smith)

Use an AC voltage source to emit
Waves traveling at c on any path.
Even through a vacuum they- transmit
At mu-naught eps’lon-naught to minus one-half.

For E and B fields James Maxwell found,
That their magnitudes go up and down,
Traveling in a cosine wave through time.
They retard by pi over two
Through a half-wave plate.
And go down and up and down
As they oscillate.

When passed through single slits waves will stray
From a straight line as they diffract afar
They’ve theta-min at lambda over a
And are observed with a photometer.


But through it all there was an argument
Of particle versus wave theory.
No answer though persistence was constant
Was found until the 20th century.


Maxwell said EM waves could self sustain,
But photoelectric effect was strange.
It was up to Einstein to explain
And thus to begin the quantum change.




Background courtesy of Free Backgrounds.com