Appendix B: Polarization Theory

Appendix B: Polarization Theory

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The most general form of a wave polarization is elliptical. The B-vector of an elliptically polarized wave can be regarded from three viewpoints. Namely, it can be considered to be (1) a rotating vector, the end point of which traces out an elliptical helix whose axis lies in the direction of propagation; (2) the resultant of the B-vectors of two linearly polarized waves of the same frequency; or (3) the resultant of the oppositely rotating Bvectors of two circularly polarized waves of the same frequency. Figure B-1 illustrates the B-vector of an elliptically polarized wave at various positions in space, at a fixed instant of time. An ellipse within an x-y plane is shown at the left end of this spiraling wave. The ellipse is created by tracing the end-point (terminus) of the B-vector onto the x-y plane, during the duration of one rf cycle.

Chapter Contents:

  • B.1 Elliptically Polarized Waves Resolved into Linearly Polarized Components
  • B.2 Elliptically Polarized Waves Resolved into Circularly Polarized Components
  • B.3 Relationships between Linearly and Circularly Polarized Components

Inspec keywords: electromagnetic wave polarisation

Other keywords: polarization theory; linearly polarized waves; B-vector; elliptical; wave polarization; rotating vector; direction of propagation

Subjects: Electromagnetic wave propagation

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