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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

what is torque
Deepak Reply
what there factors affect the surface tension of a liquid
Promise Reply
formula for impedance
muyiwa Reply
ehat is central forces
Nita Reply
what is distance?
Jonathan Reply
What does mean ohms law imply
Victoria Reply
ohms law state that the electricity passing through a metallic conductor is directly proportional to the potential difference across its end
muyiwa
what is matter
folajin Reply
Anything that occupies space
Kevin
Any thing that has weight and occupies space
Victoria
Anything which we can feel by any of our 5 sense organs
Suraj
Right
Roben
thanks
Suraj
what is a sulphate
Alo
any answers
Alo
the time rate of increase in velocity is called
Blessing Reply
acceleration
Emma
What is uniform velocity
Victoria
Greetings,users of that wonderful app.
Frank Reply
how to solve pressure?
Cruz Reply
how do we calculate weight and eara eg an elefant that weight 2000kg has four fits or legs search of surface eara is 0.1m2(1metre square) incontact with the ground=10m2(g =10m2)
Cruz
P=F/A
Mira
can someone derive the formula a little bit deeper?
Bern
what is coplanar force?
OLADITI Reply
forces acting and lying on d same plane
Promise
what is accuracy and precision
Peace Reply
How does a current follow?
Vineeta Reply
follow?
akif
which one dc or ac current.
akif
how does a current following?
Vineeta
?
akif
AC current
Vineeta
AC current follows due to changing electric field and magnetic field.
akif
you guys are just saying follow is flow not follow please
Abubakar
ok bro thanks
akif
flows
Abubakar
but i wanted to understand him/her in his own language
akif
but I think the statement is written in English not any other language
Abubakar
my mean that in which form he/she written this,will understand better in this form, i write.
akif
ok
Abubakar
ok thanks bro. my mistake
Vineeta
u are welcome
Abubakar
what is a semiconductor
Vineeta Reply
substances having lower forbidden gap between valence band and conduction band
akif
what is a conductor?
Vineeta
replace lower by higher only
akif
convert 56°c to kelvin
Abubakar
How does a current follow?
Vineeta
A semiconductor is any material whose conduction lies between that of a conductor and an insulator.
AKOWUAH
what is Atom? what is molecules? what is ions?
Abubakar Reply
atoms are the smallest unit of an element which is capable of behaving as a single unit
Promise
a molecule is d smallest unit of a substances capable of independent existence and can also retain the chemical proper ties of that substance
Promise
an ion is referred to as freely moving charged particles
Promise
Practice Key Terms 2

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Source:  OpenStax, College physics. OpenStax CNX. Jul 27, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11406/1.9
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