Date of Submission

Spring 2013

Academic Program


Project Advisor 1

Christian Bracher

Project Advisor 2

Matthew Deady

Abstract/Artist's Statement

At the interface between two different dielectric media, waves generally undergo reflection and refraction. However, for sufficiently large angles of incidence, transmission of a wave into the medium of greater speed of propagation will be completely suppressed. Instead, total internal reflection (TIR) takes place. In this case, the transmitted wave is replaced by an evanescent wave that decays exponentially with increasing distance from the interface. The aim of this project is to investigate the evanescent wave, using a microwave setup. Starting from Maxwell's equations in a dielectric material, we analyze the reflection and transmission of electromagnetic waves at a boundary, and obtain a theoretical description of the evanescent microwave field near the surface of the medium. To investigate this phenomenon experimentally, we built a set of circular prisms from polyethylene sheets, and devised a setup to verify the existence of the evanescent wave and to measure its range and properties.

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