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Thread: Electromagnetic Radiation

  1. #1 Electromagnetic Radiation 
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    Hi,

    I'm confused about electromagnetic radiation. What does it mean to say the magnetic wave and the electric wave travel at 90 degrees to each other?


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  3. #2  
    Forum Masters Degree organic god's Avatar
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    basically the planes in which the two waves oscillate are at 90 degrees to eachother.


    everything is mathematical.
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  4. #3  
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    What does "plane" mean here?
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  5. #4  
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    Also, how can the magnetic wave be 90 degrees to the electric field AND the line of progress of the wave?
    As the electric field is already at 90 degrees to the direction of movement, surely the magnetic field has to be either oscillating in the same direction as the movement or at 180 degrees to the direction of the movement?

    I know the above paragraph must be wrong, so please help if you can!
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  6. #5  
    Moderator Moderator Janus's Avatar
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    "Men are apt to mistake the strength of their feelings for the strength of their argument.
    The heated mind resents the chill touch & relentless scrutiny of logic"-W.E. Gladstone


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  7. #6  
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    Janus, that diagram is amazing! Why is that not in EVERY textbook? It makes the concept so clear.

    Thanks very much.
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by russell_c_cook
    Janus, that diagram is amazing! Why is that not in EVERY textbook? It makes the concept so clear.

    Thanks very much.
    What introductory textbook are you reading that does not have such a diagram ?
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  9. #8  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket
    What introductory textbook are you reading that does not have such a diagram ?
    I confess I find myself asking the same question. When I read Russel's OP the essence of that diagram sprung into my mind. It seems very basic and I doubtless picked it up many decades ago in an elementary textbook (since elementary is all I've ever managed with physics).
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