Propagation of electromagnetic waves through ionized gas
Bergsten, Ronald R.
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In this paper we are considering the propagation of electromagnetic waves in a Lorentz gas. Differential equations governing the electromagnetic wave are derived from Maxwell’s equations. Upon deriving the complex conductivity, it can be substituted into the differential equations. When the charge density is uniform, Maxwell’s equations reduce to a simple harmonic form which is easily solved. The average Poynting vector, as well as the amplitude of the wave, decreases exponentially over spacial coordinates. A non-uniform electron density of an exponential form is also considered, assuming the electron density to be slowly varying over spacial coordinates proves convenient. Then Maxwell’s equations again reduce to a simpler form. This approximation and the form of the equation immediately suggest the use of a W.K.B. approximation for solving the equations. The results are much more complicated that for the uniform charge distribution, but could be analyzed by the use of a computer.