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Re: The Electric Field Of An EM Wave

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Posted by yelmalio/">yelmalio on January 26, 2000 08:07:53 UTC

Can a distant charged particle feel the effect of the E field created by the time varying B field in the EM wave?

Yes it can. It is better to think of the propagating wave as an EM wave rather than seperate E and B components, they are indistinguishable. This wave will have a frequency f that can has an energy E=hf, h is plancks constant.

The seperate charged particle (an electon say) also has an energy E=mc^2 (more properly it should be E^2= m^2 * c^4 + p^2 * c^2 but I'm trying to keep the maths simple to get the idea across) but this can be considered to be a wave with wavelength f=mc^2/h. Interference can then occur and the charged article can absorb and re-emit the energy in the propagating wave. This is an example of Compton Scattering.

A more detailed and accurate treatment can be found at

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