radiation pressure

noun Physics.
the pressure exerted on a surface by electromagnetic radiation or by sound waves.

Origin:
1900–05

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
radiation pressure  
Force per unit area exerted by waves or particles of radiation, especially photons. Though photons have no mass, they do have momentum, and can transfer that momentum to other particles upon impact. The amount of pressure exerted by a given amount of radiation depends on whether the radiation is absorbed or reflected. Radiation pressure is responsible for the Casimir effect; solar radiation pressure is exploited in the design of solar sails.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
The dense sphere will also be virtually unaffected by radiation pressure from
  sunlight.
Eventually, radiation pressure from the star blows away the envelope and the
  new star begins its evolution.
So physicists got to wondering whether radiation pressure could be harnessed to
  help an item soar.
They only know of the radiation pressure studies which tend to be done with
  collimated beams of light or lasers.
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