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Applying the Law of Reflection and Refraction to Microwaves

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1) Does the law of reflection apply to microwaves when they strike a metallic plate? Explain.

2) Does the law of refraction apply to microwaves when they strike a prism? Does this produce constant values? Explain.

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Solution Summary

The solution gives a written explanation to the problem of applying the laws of reflection and refraction to microwaves, delving into the theory to give a conceptual answer in the context of electric fields and light prisms.

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1. Yes. The law of reflection applies to microwaves striking a metallic plate.
A metallic plate can not have a net electric field. Any incident field will immediately cause the free electrons in the metal to move (in insulators we don't have free electrons, so insulators can have a non-zero electric field).
So the electrons in the plate start to oscillate with the same frequency of the incident wave. However, oscillating charges create an electromagnetic wave with the same frequency of the oscillation. Thus the metallic plate's electrons will create a n electromagnetic wave with the same frequency as the incident wave ...

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