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Reflexion on a conductor

  1. May 6, 2009 #1
    Hi, skin depth tells us that an electromagnetic wave is attenuated but when is it reflected?
    When i aim light on a mirror its clearly reflected. My question is if its at the border ( right when it goes from air to metal) or at some place inside the conductor (if the latter, then how is a reflected light almost a perfect beam?)

    ty
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 6, 2009 #2

    Born2bwire

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    Snell's Law or the Fresnel Reflection Coefficients will show you how the waves reflect. For the most part though, you always have a reflected wave. The only times you do not have reflection is when the medium you are transitioning to has the same material properties and when you have the proper polarization of light striking the surface at what is known as the "Brewster Angle."
     
  4. May 7, 2009 #3
    You should review the theory of reflection and refraction of plane electromagnetic waves and wave propagation in Jackson "Classical Electrodynamics" Second Edition pgs 269-292, or in Slater and Frank "Electromagnetism" Chapter X. In general, both the E and H components of an electromagnetic wave need to be separately matched at the boundary, usually requiring both a reflected and refracted component. This matching depends on the wave polarization.
     
  5. May 7, 2009 #4

    Born2bwire

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    I hate Jackson as an introductory source. I believe Griffiths' Introduction to Classical Electrodynamics will have plane wave reflection. I curse the day that I left that book back in the States.
     
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