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Please can someone help me out with this experiment and see if this is correct?

So the experiment consists of one metal sheet that fully reflects microwaves (and is fixed in its position), and the other sheet is moveable and is a partial reflector.

How I think this experiment works is: The H sheet that is a partial reflector, allows microwaves to be transmitted through the sheet and onto the microwave sheet (at a lower intensity) whilst the other microwaves are reflected by the H sheet causing them to travel to the receiver. The microwaves that are reflected off the metal sheet at its fixed point then meet the reflected waves and then superposition occurs which forms a stationary wave of nodes and anodes. If you move the H sheet then the microwave signal will vary from minima to maxima.

This is my issues with this experiment:

The transmitter and receiver side by side, so how does the wave get reflected off the metal sheet and straight towards the receiver? Shouldn't the receiver be parallel to the transmitter because stationary waves are reflected back onto themselves?

Any help and drawings will be welcomed!! I thank any physics genius that helps me!


The waves from the transmitter will be emitted in more than one direction -- think of the emitted waves as coming out roughly cone shaped (like the beam from a flashlight). So some of the waves will be reflected back to the receiver; the rest will illuminate the surroundings.

  • $\begingroup$ Oh okay, I understand, so the rest of the experiment is correct? $\endgroup$ – Phoooebe Sep 16 '20 at 19:11
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    $\begingroup$ Yes. For extra credit, when you're doing the experiment vary the angle of H with respect to your receiver and transmitter -- you should expect to see a change in the size of maxima - minima, until eventually the effect disappears (when the receiver is no longer "seeing" a reflection from the transmitter). $\endgroup$ – TimWescott Sep 16 '20 at 19:15
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks! By moving H forward and backwards, will the signal also change from maxima to minima to maxima again? $\endgroup$ – Phoooebe Sep 16 '20 at 19:34
  • $\begingroup$ What do you think? Can you reason through it? $\endgroup$ – TimWescott Sep 16 '20 at 19:42
  • $\begingroup$ I think it is possible because my moving the H forward because the path difference will change; the microwaves reflected off H will travel a shorter distance to the receiver whilst the microwaves reflected off the M will travel a longer distance..? I think thats correct? $\endgroup$ – Phoooebe Sep 17 '20 at 8:25

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