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Wave amplitude

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  • What is the relationship between amplitude and energy of electromagnetic waves?

  • Clearly, the larger the strength of the electric and magnetic fields, the more work they can do and the greater the energy the electromagnetic wave carries. In electromagnetic waves, the amplitude is the maximum field strength of the electric and magnetic fields ( (Figure) ). The wave energy is determined by the wave amplitude.

  • What is the energy of an electromagnetic wave?

  • The energy contained in the electric and magnetic fields of the electromagnetic wave in the volume passes through the area A in time . The energy per unit area per unit time passing through a plane perpendicular to the wave, called the energy flux and denoted by S, can be calculated by dividing the energy by the area A and the time interval .

  • Which factor determines the energy of a wave?

  • The wave energy is determined by the wave amplitude. Energy carried by a wave depends on its amplitude. With electromagnetic waves, doubling the E fields and B fields quadruples the energy density u and the energy flux uc.

  • Do electromagnetic waves work on matter?

  • These fields can exert forces and move charges in the system and, thus, do work on them. However, there is energy in an electromagnetic wave itself, whether it is absorbed or not.

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