Energy pass through space ?

Thread Starter

usmansa1

Joined Jan 22, 2017
40
Hi all,

Recently I have seen a video made by Varitasium which explains that energy travels through the space. I understand there is a concept of electromagnetic interference. But I am confused, the wires are covered with insulators mostly by plastic so does the magnetic field is passed along the plastic and energy also travels via plastic and if it is passed through space then why we dont feel it unless or until we dont touch the wire itself ?
 

DickCappels

Joined Aug 21, 2008
10,124
If the voltage is high enough you will feel it right through the insulation and the air.

It should not feel like an electric shock but you would be able to feel the electric field pulling at the hairs on your body.

https://www.britannica.com/science/static-electricity

Around 1996 a brilliant engineer and scientist named Fred Oess visited my office with his new beam penetration phosphor displa demo.

To get the additive color primaries of Red, Green, and Blue, the voltage on the faceplate of the display tube had to be changed tens of time per second. There were three different voltages, for now let’s say they were 15 kv, 20 kv and 30 kv. Whenever I got close to the tube I could feel the hairs on my arms and the fabric of my shirt “buzzing” as the display switched among its anode voltages. This was the projection of energy through space that you could feel!
 

LowQCab

Joined Nov 6, 2012
3,953
No one on this Planet really knows exactly what Electricity, Magnetism, or Gravity is.
It is ALL SPECULATION.
But,
through Scientific observation, experimentation, and documentation,
some, or most, of the useful behaviors of these things
can be "Codified" into very useful sets of "Rules" or "Laws"
that these things virtually always follow.
This makes it practical to work with "things" or "phenomenons", or "Forces"
that we actually have little, or no, real understanding about,
and to produce products that perform useful work utilizing these documented Principles or Laws.

Space is not "empty",
even Space without any "Air" in it, is not "empty".

No one really knows what that "nothingness" actually consists of, but it's not actually "zero".

Outside "Forces",
( Electricity, Magnetism, Gravity, or other unknown Forces ),
can influence objects across, or through, "Space" that has no Air in it.

Air, ( which is just a particular mixture of Gases ),
is definitely affected by Electricity, Magnetism, Gravity, and other unknown Forces,
as are all other Gases, Liquids, and Materials,
but, of course, some are affected more, or less, than others by certain particular Forces
and most of these effects are reasonably well documented,
but a few that we are vaguely aware of remain generally unexplained to this day.

Some of these Rules or Laws are kept secret, and the very existence of them is vehemently denied.
.
.
.
 

SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
5,020
And various "solar winds" of radiation of all types. Recently I read an article about a star collapse in another galaxy that sent a massive amount of gamma radiation in our specific direction. Of course, by the time we observe distant astronomical events the light has been traveling for quite some time to reach us. What was so interesting about it was the shape was not the normal dispersal pattern but more of a directed column/beam of radiation which the astrophysicists found unique and interesting hence the news article.
 

ElectricSpidey

Joined Dec 2, 2017
2,753
The insulation prevents your relatively low body resistance from becoming part of the circuit and becoming a path for current (electrons) which could be a bad thing.

As far as the EM energy...there really isn't enough metal in your body for the inductive forces to have very much effect.

But as Dick points out, with a high enough voltage...anything is possible.
 

Suncalc

Joined Mar 23, 2021
15
They are correct. Energy can travel thorough vacuum via electromagnetic wave propagation. This happens via alternating electric and magnetic fields which are orthogonal or at 90° to each other. The energy is transferred via the combined wave propagation. This is described mathematically by Poynting's Theorem. In electronics this is termed Transverse ElectroMagnetic Wave propagation or TEM mode propagation for short.

The concept of an electrical current traveling within a wire is really just a shorthand way of thinking about circuits. However the electromagnetics equations show that it is actually much more complicated than most people think. This was origonally born out by James Clerk Maxwell in his famous "Maxwell's Equations".

The best way to think about a wire is that it is a mechanism which "guides" the energy propagation. The lower the frequency of the oscillating fields, the more important the wire becomes. At lower RF frequencies we use coax conductors which are actually a type of controlled waveguide. Technically the energy travels between the two conductors in coax; within the insulating medium.

As the frequency get very low, the field strength around and within the wire itself becomes more important. The insulation is present on wires to prevent upset to the electric potential on the wire. If a conductor comes into contact with the wire, then that conductor becomes part of the circuit and the voltages are upset.
 

Reloadron

Joined Jan 15, 2015
7,458
My electric toothbrush charges wireless. My phone can charge wireless. I guess energy can travel through air or an air dielectric. I have a transformer sitting here. The primary and secondary are not connected to each other and are insulated. I apply a voltage on the primary and read a voltage on the secondary. Radio waves seem to travel through air. They are a form of energy.

Ron
 

crutschow

Joined Mar 14, 2008
34,063
This was origonally born out by James Clerk Maxwell in his famous "Maxwell's Equations".
What's rather amazing is that his equations predicted the existence of electro-magnetic waves propagating through space, which were not experimentally generated and detected (other than light) until over 20 years later by Hertz (who incidentally noticed their effect while doing another electrical experiment).
 
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WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
29,883
Hi all,

Recently I have seen a video made by Varitasium which explains that energy travels through the space. I understand there is a concept of electromagnetic interference. But I am confused, the wires are covered with insulators mostly by plastic so does the magnetic field is passed along the plastic and energy also travels via plastic and if it is passed through space then why we dont feel it unless or until we dont touch the wire itself ?
One thing that is frequently overlooked is that everything affects the fields in their vicinity and it requires very little movement of charge to make this happen when things are isolated. So as you move in the vicinity of a wire, you have a significant effect on the fields around that wire and they aren't the same as they would have been had you not been standing there. But if the differences are high enough, then you will feel it, possible as a tingling or possibly as a large arc.
 

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
12,841
Electrons are matter. As such they can be projected into space, a vacuum tube is a good example of this.
Yes, they can be projected. Usually in a process where the electrical energy from the acceleration potential is converted to electron mass KE that's usually wasted as heat when it hits the tube anode. Some of that KE could be converted back to EM in vacuum tube structures like a magnetron using a magnet to creating a rotating EM field.
 
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Ya’akov

Joined Jan 27, 2019
8,974
Insulators like the plastic used to cover wires, by definition, are poor conductors of electricity. They have breakdown voltages which are the voltage that, when exceeded, will overcome the resistance they provide but they don't provide a path for electric charge in the way a conductor does when the voltages are kept below the breakdown.

So, the charge doesn't travel along the plastic. The plastic can act as a dieletric and influence the propagation of current capacitively, but they aren't conductors. When electric current moves through a wire, it induces two fields around that wire which like at 90° to each other.

They are the E field (electric) and the B field (magnetic). The E field is parallel to the wire, and the B field is perpendicular to it. When electromagnetic energy (such as radio or light) travels through space, they also have the corresponding fields at 90°. Unlike the wire, which can have DC (Direct Current) passing along/through it, EMF in space must be AC (Alternating Current) to propagate.

It is called electromagnetism because the two are inseparable, there must always be both E and B fields. Keep in mind that EM induction doesn't care which direction you look at it. A magnetic field will produce an electric one when interacting with a conductor, and vice versa.

While the reality of electric current motion is extremely complex, much like Newton vs. Einstein, the typical conductor-insulator, flow-through-the-wire model is so effectively for practical cases, the effects of the more complete understanding are not important.

That is, until you approach the equivalent of the speed of light for the former, which would be either the voltage or the frequency for the latter. High potentials cause things that don't track the simplified models in the DC (or AC) case while high frequencies make the more complete model important in the AC case.

In the end, EM propagation is particle physics, but if you are wiring up a doorbell you really don't care about bosons.
 

MrAl

Joined Jun 17, 2014
11,278
Hi all,

Recently I have seen a video made by Varitasium which explains that energy travels through the space. I understand there is a concept of electromagnetic interference. But I am confused, the wires are covered with insulators mostly by plastic so does the magnetic field is passed along the plastic and energy also travels via plastic and if it is passed through space then why we dont feel it unless or until we dont touch the wire itself ?

Hi,

You don't feel it in the same way that you would not feel a feather fall on your hair. If you had a bucket of feathers fall on your hair you would feel that though. It depends on how much force affects your body. Fields can either be strong or weak, relative to what you can actually sense with parts of your body.

The wave equation is pretty interesting here it describes the way waves can travel. It interesting that it is almost like there is something there, distributed through all space, that allows the wave to oscillate as it transfers its energy from one region to another. It is like the energy affects space itself and the space stores that energy in a small region temporarily, then passes it to another small region, then to another and another, etc., and in classical theory it goes on forever into deep space and never stops as long as nothing gets in the way. The energy and the properties of space work together to transfer the energy from one place to another.
Because of the structure of space there are specific ways in which it can travel. This is revealed by the wave equation. You can get some idea how this works by looking at the single dimensional version of the wave equation.

[Edit]
I should add that this is theory as i do not think that anyone yet knows the exact structure of space. When our goals are set to learn something new, we tend to try to use what we already know to describe the new thing. Our old knowledge could be very inferior to what the new thing is and thus we may never really know what the new thing is really about. We just end up with a 'working' knowledge of that new thing when it happens to be something very different.
 
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