Light Waves, Photons



Many important aspects and phenomena of quantum mechanics can be visualized by means of wave mechanics, which was set up in close analogy to wave optics. Here the simplest building block is the harmonic plane wave of light in a vacuum describing a particularly simple configuration in space and time of the electric field E and the magnetic induction field B. If the x axis of a rectangular coordinate system has been oriented parallel to the direction of the wave propagation, the y axis can always be chosen to be parallel to the electric field strength so that the z axis is parallel to the magnetic field strength. With this choice the field strengths can be written as
$$ \begin{gathered} {E_y} = {E_0}\cos \left( {t - kx} \right),\quad {B_z} = {B_0}\cos \left( {wt - kx} \right), \hfill \\ {E_x} = {E_z} = 0,\quad \quad {B_x} = {B_y} = 0 \hfill \\ \end{gathered} $$
They are shown in Figures 2.1 and 2.2. The quantities E0 and B0 are the maximum values reached by the electric and magnetic fields, respectively. They are called amplitudes. The angular frequency ω is connected to the wave number k by the simple relation
$$ w = ck $$


Field Strength Wave Packet Spectral Function Electric Field Strength Glass Surface 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Physics DepartmentSiegen UniversitySiegenGermany

Personalised recommendations