6
$\begingroup$

In the study of Electromagnetic (EM) waves, it is established that standing EM waves are generated when an EM wave encounters a conductor. The explanation given class was that the electric field inside a conductor has to be zero so the conductor refuses to let the E wave in and this causes the reflection of the EM wave. This was of course a very loose explanation. I would like to know what exactly happens to make the EM wave reflect and why doesn't the E wave goes around the surface of the conductor and continues to propagate? This last part of the question comes from the idea of electric shielding.

$\endgroup$

2 Answers 2

3
$\begingroup$

You have to apply some boundary conditions to the electromagnetic field (you can find them here). These conditions imply some conserved quantities (which are in fact components of the electric or magnetic fields).

As a consequence of these conditions some part of the fields are reflected and other part transmitted to the medium (conductor). The wave transmitted decreases its amplitude as it goes deeper into the conductor (as it transfers its energy to the free electrons inside the conductor).

$\endgroup$
-1
$\begingroup$

In addition I would like to post this answer to a similar question: "How is reflected wave generated from metal when electromagnetic wave incident on metal (conductor)".

Basically it's simple: the electromagnetic field sets the electrons of the conductor in motion, they emit the field which we see as the reflected field.

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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