Take the 2-minute tour ×
Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics. It's 100% free, no registration required.

My question is, whether this definition $E=E_0e^{-i\omega t}$ includes that it is a plane wave, since I am confused by the fact that we do not have any dependence on the position. So about what kind of electromagnetic waves are we talking if we use $E=E_0e^{-i\omega t}$?

share|improve this question
1  
You're right that says nothing about position dependence. It only says that the (angular) frequency is $\omega$. The position dependence is hidden in $E_0$ and there is no way to guess without context what it might be, except that it has to satisfy the wave equation. –  Michael Brown Aug 1 '13 at 9:30
add comment

1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

If you assume that $E_0$ depends on position, Michael Brown is right and there is no information about the wave's nature, except that we know its frequency. However, if you assume $E_0$ to be constant (independent of time and position) and $\omega$ to be nonzero, the expression is not a solution to the wave equation.

share|improve this answer
    
thanks to both of you –  user180097 Aug 1 '13 at 10:04
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.