# physics 112N electromagnetic waves

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1 physics 112N electromagnetic waves

2 electromagnetic waves? Faraday s law told us that time-varying magnetic fields generate electric fields James Clerk Maxwell found that time-varying electric fields generate magnetic fields taken together then electric field magnetic field electric field with this we can have disturbances in the electric and magnetic fields that propagate across space ELECTROMAGNETIC WAVES unlike the waves we met last semester, such as sound waves or waves on a string, no medium is required - it is not atoms moving around, but instead the electric and magnetic fields and these can exist even in a vacuum physics 112N 2

3 electromagnetic waves? just need a source to get the thing started e.g. radio antenna physics 112N 3

4 speed of electromagnetic waves a very simple em wave: electric field in the y-direction magnetic field in the z-direction propagation in the x-direction, with unknown speed, c turns out this satisfies the equations of electromagnetism (Faraday s law and some others I haven t shown you) but only if where experiments with mirrors and long distances indicate that the speed of light (in vacuum, strictly) also has this value LIGHT IS AN ELECTROMAGNETIC WAVE physics 112N 4

5 general properties of electromagnetic waves we considered a very simple em wave, there are many more possibilities, but they all have certain common properties: they are transverse : and are perpendicular to each other and to the direction of motion the ratio of magnitudes of electric and magnetic fields is fixed travel with a fixed speed (in vacuum) no medium is required for propagation physics 112N 5

6 how fast is c? looks like a big number convert to familiar units, compare with sound, once around the world takes light about a tenth of a second to the moon takes about a second (Apollo 11 took about 4 days) from the Sun takes 8 minutes electromagnetic waves travel really fast (later we ll learn that probably nothing travels faster) physics 112N 6

7 sinusoidal waves a very important type of wave is one whose time and space dependence is like that of the sine function a snapshot of one of these waves might look like physics 112N 7

8 a circularly polarized wave a very important type of wave is one whose time and space dependence is like that of the sine function physics 112N 9

9 the electromagnetic spectrum remember that sinusoidal waves are described by a wavelength, λ, and a frequency, f they are related by e/m waves of different wavelengths have different names physics 112N 10

10 the electromagnetic spectrum Size reference wavelength (m) wavenumber (cm -1 ) electron volt (ev) frequency (Hz) football field manys height paperclip thickness 1 MHz 1 GHz 1 THz 1 PHz 1 EHz 1 ZHz viruses atom subatomic particles cells paper bacteria baseball water molecule thickness 1 ft 1 cm 1 mm 1 mil 1 µ 1 nm 1 Å 1 pm Bands Radio Spectrum Broadcast and Wireless Microwave Terahertz Infrared Far IR Mid IR Near IR Ultraviolet X-ray Gamma Near UV Extreme UV Soft X-ray Hard X-ray Sources and Uses of Frequency Bands AM radio 600kHz-1.6MHz FM radio MHz TV Broadcast MHz Mobile Phones 900MHz-2.4GHz Radar GHz Wireless Data ~ 2.4 GHz electronics optics Bio imaging 1-10 THz 700 Visible wavelengths (nm) 625 Fiber telecom µ Remotes 850 nm Visible Light THz nm Dental Curing nm Baggage screen Å Medical X-rays Å Cosmic ray observations <<1 Å Sound Waves 20Hz-10kHz Ultrasound 1-20 MHz Microwave Oven 2.4 GHz Screening Night Vision µ Suntan nm Crystallography Å PET imaging Å physics 112N 11

11 wave fronts a wave-front is a handy concept in understanding waves defined as the surface on which the phase of a wave is the same, i.e. where the wave is at the same bit of the vibration e.g. a plane-wave physics 112N 12

12 wave fronts a wave-front is a handy concept in understanding waves defined as the surface on which the phase of a wave is the same, i.e. where the wave is at the same bit of the vibration e.g. spherical wave point source physics 112N 13

13 rays and wave fronts can also define rays which are imaginary lines at right angles to the wavefronts rays are very handy for describing geometric optics physics 112N 14

14 describing light using rays self-luminous object emit light rays rays are not themselves directly visible physics 112N 15

15 describing light by rays objects which are not self-luminous can be seen using light scattered from their surfaces e.g. reading a page: scattering occurs at rough surfaces what about smooth surfaces? physics 112N 16

16 describing light by rays when light moves from one medium to another (say from air to glass) two things can happen some light can be reflected, continuing to propagate in the air, but in a new direction some light can be refracted, propagating then through the glass, usually in a different direction physics 112N 17

17 describing light by rays when light moves from one medium to another (say from air to glass) two things can happen some light can be reflected, continuing to propagate in the air, but in a new direction some light can be refracted, propagating then through the glass, usually in a different direction physics 112N 18

18 reflection of light when light moves from one medium to another (say from air to glass) two things can happen some light can be reflected, continuing to propagate in the air, but in a new direction the following rule is found to describe reflection angle of incidence = angle of reflection physics 112N 19

19 refraction of light the amount the light bends is determined by optical properties of the two materials expressed by a quantity called refractive index, n physics 112N 20

20 refractive index in a material, light always travels somewhat slower than it does in vacuum basically this is due to interactions between the light and the electric charges in atoms we can define a quantity, the index of refraction, that is the ratio of the speed of light in a vacuum to the speed in a material this is the number that determines the optical properties of a material physics 112N 21

21 refraction of light the amount the light bends is determined by optical properties of the two materials the angle of refraction is determined using Snell s law physics 112N 23

22 refraction of light the angle of refraction is determined using Snell s law increasing n - bend toward the normal decreasing n - bend away from the normal physics 112N 24

23 total internal reflection smaller n larger n when i.e. refracted ray doesn t leave smaller n larger n physics 112N 27

24 refractive index light travels slower in materials, according to the refractive index and we recall that wave speed, frequency and wavelength are related if the wave speed decreases, which of f, λ changes? it has to be the wavelength physics 112N 29

25 dispersion the refractive index of a material actually depends somewhat on the frequency of the light so different colors of light are bent by different amount when they pass from air into a material since white light is a superposition of waves covering the whole visible spectrum, we see dispersion of white light into a spectrum physics 112N 31

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