|Nov14-08, 09:10 PM||#1|
Electric & Magnetic Field & Polarization
1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
I am trying to understand electromagnetic radiation....(the wave propagation of electric & magnetic fields) and resulting polarization. I just cannot visualize it, and once I think I understand, I see some diagram which challenges my thinking. What is the relationship between electric field, electric lines? Is electric field a scalar or vector? I would think it's a scalar but then polarization makes me think it's a field. Polarization: is x-component = the electric field scalar value and y-component = magnetic field scalar value?
What is the relationship between E_theta, E_phi, and E_r and: electric field & magnetic field/lines/values/etc.?
2. Relevant equations
3. The attempt at a solution
My attempts just confuse me more. A clear description or visualization would be nice. This question is purely for understanding as there are too many things I don't get. That's what happens when all you're taught is the math behind a concept.
|Nov15-08, 04:21 AM||#2|
The elecric field is a vector. The field lines in EM waves are the same as that in time-invariant static cases, only that they are time varying.
Polarisation of plane waves is more complicated. You have linear polarisation, circular polarisation and elliptical polarisation.
It's hard to explain what this means in words. You can play around with this tool:
|Nov15-08, 08:51 AM||#3|
I would expect linear polarization to always have the values of one axes for all t to equal 0 (e.g. E_x(t) = sin wt , E_y(t) = 0 .... and vice versa).
Hence the bottom line is this: I am confused as to what an electric field vector looks like, how that relates to the electric field lines, and which vectors or axes determine polarization. If I knew that E(t) = sin wt, what would the e-field vector look like, e-lines, and what type of polarization is it? That looks like a scalar value, so how do I get a vector in the first place?
Sorry, I'm just really confused.
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