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16 The Curl
Foundations of Wave Phenomena
  • Charles G Torre, Department of Physics, Utah State University

In §17–§20 we will study the mathematical basics behind the propagation of light waves, radio waves, microwaves, etc. All of these are, of course, examples of electromagnetic waves, that is, they are all the same (electromagnetic) phenomena just differing in their wavelength. The (non-quantum) description of all electromagnetic phenomena is provided by the Maxwell equations. These equations are normally presented as differential equations for the electric field E(r, t) and the magnetic field B(r, t). You may have been first introduced to them in an equivalent integral form. In differential form, the Maxwell equations involve the divergence operation, which we mentioned before, and another vector differential operator, known as the curl. In preparation for our discussion of electromagnetic waves, we explore this vector differential operator in a little detail.

Publication Date
  • electromegnetic,
  • phenomena,
  • curl,
  • vector,
  • chapter 16

Version 8.2

Chapter 16

Citation Information
Charles G Torre. "16 The Curl" (2014)
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