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Perpendicular distribution of EMW

  1. Jun 2, 2012 #1
    An electromagnetic wave is a variation in the electromagnetic field. How wide is the variation in the field caused by a wave? I mean, what is one wave's distribution perpendicular to the direction of the wave's progression? This distribution obviously increases in magnitude if two or more waves interfere, but the question is assuming noninterfering waves.

    Thanks //Freddy
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 2, 2012 #2

    Bobbywhy

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    Gold Member

    freddyfish, welcome to Physics Forums!

    You've asked a hard question. By "hard" I mean difficult to answer because the phrase "How wide is the variation..." is not so clear. Do you expect an answer such as "two centimeters wide"? This "variation" is actually a field: one is electromagnetic and one is electric, as you know. Fields are described by their intensities, and not by their "widths".
    You may read up on electromagnetic waves (EMWs) at:
    http://missionscience.nasa.gov/ems/02_anatomy.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_radiation
    Note: at the wiki site see the animations of EMWs!

    If you then have any doubts or other questions, do come back here and post them. Certainly members will help you understand the physics of EMWs. That's what we do here!
     
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