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Understanding Planewaves Bouncing Parallel Plates (Waveguide)

  1. Nov 10, 2013 #1

    I'm rather confused as to how this diagram in my book. I know that in order for a mode to propagate, a standing wave must be formed in the waveguide, and this happens above some cutoff frequency that one designs for. What I don't understand is, below cutoff, what happens? I don't understand what is meant by the waves must be 'in phase'. In phase with what? The picture I've attached is meant to show how out of phase waves are created if the angle is not correct; however, I don't at all see what created these out of phase waves. I also don't understand why there isn't a wavefront travelling in the direction of the ray pointing downwards.

    My guess is that when the waves reflect (and go in the direction of the downward ray), they need to be in-phase with the waves moving in the direction of the upward point ray so that they don't destructively interfere.

    If anyone could shed some light on this, that would be great.

    Thank you.

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 15, 2013 #2

    Claude Bile

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    Science Advisor

    Your guess is close. Note there are two reflections off the bottom surface - for a guided mode to travel, then these reflections must be in phase. If they are not, then they will attenuate.

    The reflection off the top surface has been removed, presumably for brevity.

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