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  • Explain how the energy and amplitude of an electromagnetic wave are related.
  • Given its power output and the heating area, calculate the intensity of a microwave oven’s electromagnetic field, as well as its peak electric and magnetic field strengths

Anyone who has used a microwave oven knows there is energy in electromagnetic waves    . Sometimes this energy is obvious, such as in the warmth of the summer sun. Other times it is subtle, such as the unfelt energy of gamma rays, which can destroy living cells.

Electromagnetic waves can bring energy into a system by virtue of their electric and magnetic fields . These fields can exert forces and move charges in the system and, thus, do work on them. If the frequency of the electromagnetic wave is the same as the natural frequencies of the system (such as microwaves at the resonant frequency of water molecules), the transfer of energy is much more efficient.

Connections: waves and particles

The behavior of electromagnetic radiation clearly exhibits wave characteristics. But we shall find in later modules that at high frequencies, electromagnetic radiation also exhibits particle characteristics. These particle characteristics will be used to explain more of the properties of the electromagnetic spectrum and to introduce the formal study of modern physics.

Another startling discovery of modern physics is that particles, such as electrons and protons, exhibit wave characteristics. This simultaneous sharing of wave and particle properties for all submicroscopic entities is one of the great symmetries in nature.

The propagation of two electromagnetic waves is shown in three dimensional planes. The first wave shows with the variation of two components E and B. E is a sine wave in one plane with small arrows showing the vibrations of particles in the plane. B is a sine wave in a plane perpendicular to the E wave. The B wave has arrows to show the vibrations of particles in the plane. The waves are shown intersecting each other at the junction of the planes because E and B are perpendicular to each other. The direction of propagation of wave is shown perpendicular to E and B waves. The energy carried is given as E sub u. The second wave shows with the variation of the components two E and two B, that is, E and B waves with double the amplitude of the first case. Two E is a sine wave in one plane with small arrows showing the vibrations of particles in the plane. Two B is a sine wave in a plane perpendicular to the two E wave. The two B wave has arrows to show the vibrations of particles in the plane. The waves are shown intersecting each other at the junction of the planes because two E and two B waves are perpendicular to each other. The direction of propagation of wave is shown perpendicular to two E and two B waves. The energy carried is given as four E sub u.
Energy carried by a wave is proportional to its amplitude squared. With electromagnetic waves, larger E size 12{E} {} -fields and B size 12{B} {} -fields exert larger forces and can do more work.

But there is energy in an electromagnetic wave, whether it is absorbed or not. Once created, the fields carry energy away from a source. If absorbed, the field strengths are diminished and anything left travels on. Clearly, the larger the strength of the electric and magnetic fields, the more work they can do and the greater the energy the electromagnetic wave carries.

A wave’s energy is proportional to its amplitude    squared ( E 2 size 12{E rSup { size 8{2} } } {} or B 2 size 12{B rSup { size 8{2} } } {} ). This is true for waves on guitar strings, for water waves, and for sound waves, where amplitude is proportional to pressure. In electromagnetic waves, the amplitude is the maximum field strength    of the electric and magnetic fields. (See [link] .)

Thus the energy carried and the intensity     I size 12{I} {} of an electromagnetic wave is proportional to E 2 size 12{E rSup { size 8{2} } } {} and B 2 size 12{B rSup { size 8{2} } } {} . In fact, for a continuous sinusoidal electromagnetic wave, the average intensity I ave size 12{I rSub { size 8{"ave"} } } {} is given by

I ave = 0 E 0 2 2 , size 12{I rSub { size 8{"ave"} } = { {ce rSub { size 8{0} } E rSub { size 8{0} } rSup { size 8{2} } } over {2} } } {}

where c size 12{c} {} is the speed of light, ε 0 size 12{ε rSub { size 8{0} } } {} is the permittivity of free space, and E 0 size 12{E rSub { size 8{0} } } {} is the maximum electric field strength; intensity, as always, is power per unit area (here in W/m 2 size 12{"W/m" rSup { size 8{2} } } {} ).

The average intensity of an electromagnetic wave I ave size 12{I rSub { size 8{"ave"} } } {} can also be expressed in terms of the magnetic field strength by using the relationship B = E / c size 12{B= {E} slash {c} } {} , and the fact that ε 0 = 1 / μ 0 c 2 size 12{ε rSub { size 8{0} } = {1} slash {μ rSub { size 8{0} } } c rSup { size 8{2} } } {} , where μ 0 size 12{μ rSub { size 8{0} } } {} is the permeability of free space. Algebraic manipulation produces the relationship

Questions & Answers

How we are making nano material?
LITNING Reply
what is a peer
LITNING Reply
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
LITNING Reply
What is STMs full form?
LITNING
scanning tunneling microscope
Sahil
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
Bob
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
brayan
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Damian
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
Renato
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
?
Kyle
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
Adin
why?
Adin
what school?
Kyle
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
Joe
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
research.net
kanaga
sciencedirect big data base
Ernesto
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
Bharti
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
Daniel
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
Maciej
characteristics of micro business
Abigail
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Anassong
How can I make nanorobot?
Lily
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
NANO
how can I make nanorobot?
Lily
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
s.
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
Tarell
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
Damian
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
Tarell
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
Virgil
is Bucky paper clear?
CYNTHIA
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
NANO
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Source:  OpenStax, Basic physics for medical imaging. OpenStax CNX. Feb 17, 2014 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11630/1.1
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