Can electromagnetic radiation exist without matter

Light represents an electromagnetic wave whose “building blocks” are photons.


In physics, the photon (Greek: phos = light) denotes the elementary excitation (quantum) of the electromagnetic field. However, a photon is not a “classic” particle.
Photons are infinitely long and have a fixed frequency and wavelength
as well as a fixed energy that depends solely on the wavelength.


As the building blocks of electromagnetic radiation, photons not only have the properties of radiation, but also those of waves. These two properties are dealt with in one of the two major areas of optics (ray optics and wave optics).


Light therefore also represents an electromagnetic wave that oscillates transversely (i.e. perpendicular) to the direction of propagation.
In contrast to transversely oscillating waves, there are also longitudinal waves; these are waves that oscillate in the direction of their propagation and are dependent on a medium. Important forms of longitudinal waves are shock waves and sound waves.
In contrast to longitudinal sound waves, transverse light waves can therefore also propagate without matter, i.e. in a vacuum.

The Wave property of light is characterized by its intensity and wavelength.


The Radiation property on the other hand by the direction and the speed of the electromagnetic wave.