How Everything Works
How Everything Works How Everything Works

Question 712

Can we create an invisible wall of electromagnetic fields? - AW
Not really. While you could make an electromagnetic "wall" of laser beams or X-ray beams, it wouldn't really be "invisible" and it wouldn't feel like a solid wall. It would just cause injury if you put your hand through it. For a surface to feel like a wall, it would have to push your hand backward if you tried to move your hand through it. A real wall does just that and it does so with electromagnetic forces—when you touch a wall, electromagnetic forces that the wall's atoms exert on your atoms push your hand back and prevent it from penetrating the wall. So a clear window could be described as an "invisible wall of electromagnetic fields," but that isn't really what you want. A freestanding electromagnetic field, one that doesn't involve atoms yet prevents your hand from penetrating it, just isn't possible.

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