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Electromagnetic Wave Equation

  1. Apr 30, 2008 #1
    Hi I have a presentation tomorrow and have to explain a few wave equations. I am using a book to walk me through them but there is one point I don't understand:

    At one point the book states:

    Because k=(angular frequency)/c, we will represent the waves of the electric field as:

    e^i (angular frequency ^ (x/c))

    Now I am unsure what equation they used to get to this and also if its
    e^i *(angular frequency ^ (x/c))
    e^(i *(angular frequency ^ (x/c)))

    Any help would be really great. Im sorry if this is a stupid question.
    Thanks in advance,
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 30, 2008 #2
    to derive that, you need to use maxwell's equations and then separation of variables in 4 dimensions (3space 1time). The spacial parts are much trickier as i recall, if your familiar with math methods it won't be TOO bad to derive the time dependence.
  4. Apr 30, 2008 #3
    Ok so the Maxwell equations, I am not familiar with those, I may just list it as a given and hope noone asks questions, do you know which of the two equations i listed it would be?
    e^i * stuff or e^(i*stuff)?
    Thanks again.
  5. Apr 30, 2008 #4
    its e^(i*stuff) not (e^i)*stuff.
    Maxwell's equations are some of the most important in all of physics; there are 4 (and a half... don't worry about that) and they describe the vast majority of all physical phenomena in the universe.
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