# Force of Light

*Most recent answer: 11/29/2013*

- matt jackson (age 20)

westland mi usa

Hello Matt,

Yes indeed, light can generate a force. I remind you that the full relativistic formula for energy, mass, and momentum is **E ^{2} = m^{2}c^{4} + p^{2}** . Although photons have no rest-mass,

**m**, they do carry momentum

**p**. Now a force is generated by a transfer of momentum so a light beam incident and absorbed by an object will experience a force. This can be easily verified in the lab with a laser beam.

Even from the classical point of view electromagnetic waves can cause a force. For example the force on a charged particle is **F = q(E + V **x **B)** which implies that electromagnetic fields carry momentum. If you view a photon as a classical wave it still carries momentum.

LeeH

*(published on 11/29/2013)*