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Unformatted text preview: 1 PHYS809 Class 32 Notes Electromagnetic plane waves Maxwells equations for uniform linear media with no sources are 0, 0, 0, 0. t t = - = = + = E E B B B E (32.1) With the understanding that physical quantities are given by taking the real part of complex expressions, plane wave solutions are of form ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) , , , , i t i t t e t e - - = = k x k x E x E B x B (32.2) where E and B are complex constant vectors. Here k is the wave vector and is the angular frequency. These are called plane waves because surfaces on which the phase t - k x is uniform are planes. Assuming that k is real, the direction of propagation of the wave is parallel to k . Substituting the plane wave expressions into Maxwells equations gives 0, 0, 0, 0. = + = = - = k E k B E k B k E B (32.3) The first and third equations show that electromagnetic waves are transverse, i.e. both the electric and magnetic fields are perpendicular to the direction of propagation. The other two equations can be magnetic fields are perpendicular to the direction of propagation....
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This note was uploaded on 12/02/2011 for the course PHYS 809 taught by Professor Macdonald during the Fall '11 term at University of Delaware.
- Fall '11