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Relativity in Modern Physics$
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Nathalie Deruelle and Jean-Philippe Uzan

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198786399

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198786399.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 March 2020

Electromagnetic waves

Electromagnetic waves

(p.317) 15 Electromagnetic waves
Relativity in Modern Physics

Nathalie Deruelle

Jean-Philippe Uzan

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines solutions to the Maxwell equations in a vacuum: monochromatic plane waves and their polarizations, plane waves, and the motion of a charge in the field of a wave (which is the principle upon which particle detection is based). A plane wave is a solution of the vacuum Maxwell equations which depends on only one of the Cartesian spatial coordinates. The monochromatic plane waves form a basis (in the sense of distributions, because they are not square-integrable) in which any solution of the vacuum Maxwell equations can be expanded. The chapter concludes by giving the conditions for the geometrical optics limit. It also establishes the connection between electromagnetic waves and the kinematic description of light discussed in Book 1.

Keywords:   electromagnetic waves, plane waves, monochromatic plane waves, motion of a charge, Maxwell equations, geometrical optics limit, kinematics of light

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