Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Electromagnetic decay inside materials.

  1. Mar 7, 2012 #1
    Hey guys, back again for some help if that's okay!

    I've derived a formula for an electromagnetic wave entering a material, as [itex]\underline{E}[/itex]e[itex]^{-\frac{x}{\delta}}[/itex]e[itex]^{i(\frac{x}{\delta}- \omega t)}[/itex]

    x=direction of propagation
    [itex]\delta[/itex]=skin depth

    As you can see this describes the wave propagating into the x direction, but also decaying.

    My question asks to relate this decay inside a metal to the appearance of the metal surface, when the metal is smooth.

    My attempt at this solution is that the decay will be greater, as the skin depth is larger.

    Then the skin depth increases as the conductivity of the material decreases.

    But then I'm stumped. I looked online for things such as, are higher conducting materials shinier than lower conducting materials? Or is this just too vague of an approach would you think? And is it even correct?
  2. jcsd
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Can you offer guidance or do you also need help?