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Refractive Index of Gold at Microwave Frequencies

  1. Feb 1, 2013 #1
    Hi, can anyone help me out with the refractive index of pure gold at microwave freguencies? (Specifically something close to 2.4 GHz, or your average household microwave oven)

    Much obliged!
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 1, 2013 #2


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    As it is a metal, any large piece will be a good reflector. For small parts, it depends on the geometry of the piece. In any way, why do you need the refractive index? Do you expect microwaves traveling within the gold?
  4. Feb 1, 2013 #3
    First off, I am working with either nano/microscale particles or very thin films. I want to know the refractive index because I am looking at the electromagnetic field surrounding various materials at different wavelengths.
  5. Feb 1, 2013 #4
    Maybe you could measureconductivity of bulk gold ? Or extrapolate from optical frequency data ?
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2013
  6. Feb 1, 2013 #5
    Thank you for your suggestions, Alkim. Unfortunately, I was hoping to avoid measuring, as we do not have much excess material to make a bulk measurement. As for extrapolating, I thought about this. However, because microwaves are many magnitudes lower in frequency than the visible spectrum and the fact that a refractive index plot is not necessarily linear over that distance, I would be hesitant to accept an extrapolation as being a reasonably close approximation without having any actual data to corroborate.
  7. Feb 1, 2013 #6


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    BTW, microwave ovens operate at 1/10 your frequency.
  8. Feb 1, 2013 #7
    Yes, thank you marcus. This was a typo and should have been 2.4 GHz.
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