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I'm trying to understand exactly what the physical meaning of conductivity/current is in relation to waves.

if we have a wave traveling through a conductor, we find that it decays exponentially, i.e.

[itex]e^{-\alpha z}[/itex]

where [itex]\alpha=imag(k)=\omega\sqrt{\frac{\epsilon\mu}{2}} \left[\sqrt{1+(\frac{\sigma}{\epsilon\omega})^2}+1 \right]^{1/2} [/itex]

and [itex]k^2=\mu\epsilon\omega^2+i\mu\sigma\omega[/itex]

My question is, what is the physical interpretation of the conductivity(σ) with respect to currents? How does it cause an exponential decay of the field strength as the wave travels through the material? Does it absorb the electric field by creating a current since [itex]J=\sigma E[/itex] ?

Thanks!

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# Physical interpretation of conductivity with electromagnetic waves?

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