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Next: Polarization Up: WAVES Previous: Spherical Waves

Electromagnetic Waves

We have some difficulty visualizing a wave consisting only of electric and magnetic fields. However, if we plot the strength of $\Vec{E}$ along one axis and the strength of $\Vec{B}$ along another (perpendicular) axis, as in Fig. 14.7, then the direction of propagation $\Hat{k}$ will be perpendicular to both $\Vec{E}$ and $\Vec{B}$, as shown.

Figure: A linearly polarized electromagnetic wave. The electric and magnetic fields $\Vec{E}$ and $\Vec{B}$ are mutually perpendicular and both are perpendicular to the direction of propagation $\Hat{k}$ ($\Vec{k}$ is the wave vector).


Jess H. Brewer - Last modified: Sun Nov 15 21:28:03 PST 2015