# Can the Z component of an electric field dissipate energy to XY plane?

1. Nov 20, 2013

### confusedwrtEM

Say if I have an EM wave with electric field (x, y, z) = (0, 0, E_z), and magnetic field (x, y, z) = (H_x, H_y, 0).

Can this wave's electric field dissipate energy to the XY plane? Like, if I had 2D cells in the XY plane that absorb energy from an electric field, will they gain energy from the E_z component of this EM wave?

My trivial understanding says the answer is yes, because the electric field energy at each point on the XY plane would be

E_xy = ∫E_z(x, y) dxdy

and so long as E_z(x, y) is not zero, then the integral would be non-zero. But something doesn't seem right ... how can a field propagating in a direction orthogonal to a plane dissipate energy to that plane?

Best,
confused

Last edited: Nov 20, 2013