Why can’t wind move light? Considering light is a particle.


For example, seeing lights as flickering when there are strong winds. Is there something conceptually wrong in considering lights as particles?

In: Physics


When wind hits something, it’s really the molecules in the air hitting it – and light is so small and fast that it almost always misses air molecules.

It’s a little like bullets flying through the air, but bullets are affected by wind and gravity – light is small enough not to hit the air molecules (usually) but it actually still bends with gravity

Even setting aside the wave/particle nature of light and treat it as pure particles, it moves millions of times faster than the wind. So relative to light, air is effectively motionless, regardless of wind speed

Light is not only a particle. It is also not only a wave. It is both. It does not need a medium to transmit it like sound does. Strong winds do have areas of higher and lower density, and those do bend light slightly. Stars twinkle because of it. Newer telescopes use real time active correction by moving mirrors to compensate for atmospheric disturbance of light. The difference in density between the air near a hot road and cooler air above it causes the shimmering water mirage you see in the distance on a hot road.