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The wave equation for one component of the electric field in an electromagnetic wave is

Below are listed two situations and a number of statements about the field that solves this equation. For each of the situations A and B indicate which of the answers a-f must be true.

__Situations:__

(A) The electromagnetic wave considered is approximately a plane wave traveling in the +z direction.

(B) The electromagnetic wave considered is approximately a single pulse (a rise of the magnitude of E from zero followed by a fall back to zero) moving in the -y direction.

__Statements:__

- The wave is polarized in the x direction.
- The electric field vector at any instant of time is (nearly) independent of z.
- The solution does not appear to change if we move in the direction of travel at a speed
- The solution does not appear to change if we move in the direction of travel at a speed
- The graph of (at least) one component of the electric field as observed at a fixed point in space will oscillate like a sine or cosine function as the wave passes that point.
- The graph of (at least) one component of the electric field as observed at many points in space at a fixed time will oscillate like a sine or cosine function.

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Page last modified November 5, 2002: OP23