Question of the Week Podcast

Question of the Week episode

Sun, 21st Aug 2011

How do solar sails work?

Artists impression of Cosmos 1 (c) John Ballentine

Given that photons are massless, how do solar sails get pushed along by light? We explore the reasoning in this Question of the Week! Plus, we ask why wet dogs always seem to smell so appalling.

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In this edition of Question of the Week

Full Transcript

  • How do solar sails work?

    Howdy! Ever since I first heard about solar sails I have been curious about how they work. It is my understanding that light is massless whether considered a particle or wave. How does a massless particle impart a force on another object? Regards,



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