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Electric field magnitude

  1. Mar 4, 2012 #1
    Hello All,

    I am a masters student in electronics engg and reading technical electrodynamics.
    Please let me know why the magnitude of the electric field is zero in the z direction if we consider a wave propagating in the +ve z direction. Mathematically, it is clear; however i would like to physically understand why this is happening.

    Quick replies will be highly appreciated!!

    Thanks and Regards,

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 4, 2012 #2


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    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    "Because Maxwell's Equations are true." Seroiusly, that's the answer to your question. It comes as a result of Maxwell's equations that, in an EM wave, the directions of oscillation of the electric and magnetic fields must both be perpendicular to the direction of wave propagation.
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