What is the difference between normal modes and propagation modes?

In summary, normal modes refer to natural modes of vibration of a system, while propagation modes involve imposed waves on a system, such as in radio transmission or optics. They may overlap, depending on the context.
  • #1
moostang
1
0
What is the difference between normal modes and propagation modes?

I am confused. I know that normal modes are natural modes of vibration of a system. And, propagating modes are ... ?

Thanks.
 
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  • #3
It depends on the context.

In optics, propagating modes are those that accommodate propagating waves; waves that do not diminish in amplitude as they propagate (the antithesis of evanescent waves).

Claude.
 

1. What are normal modes?

Normal modes refer to the oscillatory patterns or vibrations of a system at its natural frequency. These modes occur when all parts of the system vibrate at the same frequency and are in phase with each other.

2. What are propagation modes?

Propagation modes, also known as wave modes, refer to the different ways in which waves can travel through a medium. These modes are determined by the physical properties of the medium, such as density and elasticity.

3. What is the main difference between normal modes and propagation modes?

The main difference between normal modes and propagation modes is that normal modes refer to the oscillatory behavior of a single system, while propagation modes refer to the behavior of waves traveling through a medium.

4. How are normal modes and propagation modes related?

Normal modes and propagation modes are related in the sense that the natural frequency of a system's normal modes can determine the type of propagation modes that can occur in that system. For example, a system with a low natural frequency will only allow for low frequency propagation modes.

5. Can normal modes and propagation modes coexist in a system?

Yes, normal modes and propagation modes can coexist in a system. In fact, the propagation of waves through a medium can be thought of as a superposition of multiple normal modes. This allows for more complex and diverse wave behavior in a system.

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