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Finding the expression for a polarized light wave

  1. May 12, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Find an expression for the P-state lightwave of angular frequency w and amplitude E_0 propagating along a line in the xy-plane at 45 degrees to the x-axis and having its plane of vibration corresponding to the xy-plane. At t = 0, y = 0, and x = 0 the field is 0.

    2. Relevant equations

    E_0x = E_0 cos(45)
    E_0y = E_0 sin(45)

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I thought that it would be a sine wave given the initial conditions
    Thus, E = (-i + j) sqrt(2)/2 E_0 sin(k/sqrt(2) (x + y) - wt)

    where k = k(i + j)/sqrt(2)

    Or is it going to be a cosine wave?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 12, 2009 #2
    You want a sine wave because sin(0) = 0. If you use a cosine then you will have a phase factor of Pi/2, which would give you a sine wave in the end.
     
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