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Electromagnetic Wave

  • Thread starter Zonda
  • Start date
13
0
1. Homework Statement
A plane electromagnetic wave, which is polarized in the positive y-direction, propagates in the negative z-direction. What is the direction of the magnetic field of this wave?


2. Homework Equations
My choices are:

+z direction.
-y direction.
-x direction.
+y direction.
+x direction.
-z direction.


3. The Attempt at a Solution

I don't understand polarization much. Also, from what I know about electromagnetic waves the magnetic and electric fields point in two directions so I can't just answer one answer it would have to be two of the choices above but I don't have that option.

Please Help! I Would really appreciate it! It's due tomorrow!!!
 

G01

Homework Helper
Gold Member
2,649
16
HINT: Magnetic field components of a E-M wave, will be at right angles to the electric field components.
 
13
0
So, from what I can gather, the answer is +x or -x, it can be either one can't it?
 
13
0
Nevermind. I got it and it was positive x. How is that so, though? I swear it can be both positive and negative x. I even drew it out!
 

Mentz114

Gold Member
5,409
283
The equation that connects the direction of travel (k) and the directions of the E and B fields is -

[tex] \vec{k} = \vec{E} \times \vec{B} [/tex]

That's a vector cross product - see here http://mathworld.wolfram.com/CrossProduct.html
 

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