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Bucaramanga, september 26 of 2018.
1. Explain the concept of loss tangent by means of an example.

¿What is the loss per Kilometer in a flat wave propagating dry earth? the frequency is 1

Fig. Loss angle Փ. The power factor is sin Փ = cos (π / 2- Փ), where π / 2 -Փ is the forward
angle of J with respect to E. The loss tangent is tg Փ = J per / Jdipo = 𝓸ef / ωε '.

At this frequency the dry earth has a conductivity 𝓸 = 10-5 S / m and a relative permittivity
ε, = 3. Hence, 𝓸 / ωε ≈ 0.06 «1, which means that the displacement current dominates and
the effect of the conductivity is to attenuate the propagating wave. The value of the
attenuation coefficient, using the complex phase propagation constant = β-jα, is given by:

ℴ µ ℴ
𝞪= 2 √ ε = 𝝱 (2ωε)= 3,6x10-2 (0,03) = 1,1x10-3 Np/m

𝝱=𝛚/v = 2 𝜋𝑓/(𝑉𝑜/√εr) = 2𝜋𝑥106/(3x108/ √3) = 3,6x10-2 rad/m. In 1 km of propagation

the amplitude will have decreased from one to
e-(1,1x10 ̄³)(10³)=e-1,1=0,33

o en 20 log (0,33) = 9,5 dB, which for many practical applications is a tolerable loss.

2. What kind of information give us the propagation velocity in electromagnetic waves

The velocity of propagation of a wave is the magnitude that measures the speed at which
the disturbance of the wave propagates along its displacement. The speed at which the
wave propagates depends on the type of wave as well as the medium through which it

Logically, it is not going to move at the same speed a wave that moves through the air that
one that does it through the land or the sea. In the same way, a seismic wave, sound or light
does not advance at the same speed. For example, in a vacuum electromagnetic waves
propagate at the speed of light; that is, at 300,000 km / s.

Propagation speed of electromagnetic waves.

Electromagnetic waves, which are a type of transverse waves, propagate through space.
Therefore, they do not require a means to move: they can travel through a vacuum.
Electromagnetic waves move at about 300,000 km / s (speed of light) although, depending
on their speed, they are grouped into frequency ranges composing what is called the
electromagnetic spectrum.

3. Explain how an electromagnetic wave behaves in free space, perfect dielectrics and
good conductors.


The propagation of electromagnetic waves by free space is usually called radio frequency
propagation, or simply radio propagation. Although free space implies a void, propagation
through the terrestrial atmosphere is often called propagation through free space, and can
almost always be considered that way. The main difference is that the atmosphere of the
earth introduces losses of the signal that is not in the void.

Properties of radio waves.

In the terrestrial atmosphere, the propagation of wave fronts and rays may differ from the
behavior in free space due to optical effects. These optical effects are mainly classified in
refraction, reflection, diffraction and interference called optical because they were first
observed in optical science that is responsible for studying light waves. Because light
waves are high frequency electromagnetic waves, the same concepts can also be applied to
radio waves.

Radial propagation in free space

In the next section we take a closer look at four relevant effects and concepts in the
propagation of radio signals:
Free space loss (FSL): the fact that a radio wave loses power even in a straight line in a
vacuum, simply because it spreads over a larger region in space as it moves away from the
Fresnel Zones: the fact that radio waves travel in a large cigar-shaped area, rather than in a
simple straight line.
Line of sight: as defined for radio waves, something different than for light.
Multiple trajectory effect; the fact that a signal can find several ways to reach a receiver.
Note that, to a large extent, all these concepts can be understood by applying the Huygens

Model of propagation in free space

This model is used to predict the direct received signal when the transmitter and receiver
have line of sight between them. The communication systems via satellite and the
microwave links with line of sight are the free space.
The model predicts that the received power decreases as the separation between the
receiving and transmitting antennas increases. The energy received in free space is a
function of distance and is given by.
𝑃𝑡 𝐺𝑡 𝐺𝑟 𝜆2
Pr(d) = (4𝜋)²𝑑²𝐿
Where Pt is the transmitted power, Pr (d) is the received power that is a function of the
distance between the transmitter and the receiver.

Gt is the gain of the transmitting antenna, Gr is the gain of the receiving antenna, d is the
separation distance between the transmitter and the receiver in meters. L is the loss factor of
the system not related to propagation (L> 1). λ is the wavelength in meters.
The gain of any antenna is related to its effective aperture, Ae and is given by.

Where Ae is related to the physical measurement of the antenna.

λ = Wavelength. And this is given by λ = c / f = 2πc / ωc.
Where f = frequency of the carrier in Hertz.
ωc = carrier frequency in radians per second. C = speed of light in meters / s.
The values for Pt and Pr must be expressed in the same units.
The free space equation shows that the received power decays to the square of the
separation distance between the antennas. This implies that the received power decays with
the measured distance of 20 dB / decade.

In free space, it can be considered as empty and not considered losses. When the
electromagnetic waves are in a vacuum, they become dispersed and the power density is
reduced to what is called attenuation. The attenuation occurs both in the free space and in
the Earth's atmosphere. The terrestrial atmosphere is not considered empty because it
contains particles that can absorb electromagnetic energy and this type of power reduction
is called absorption losses which do not occur when waves travel outside the Earth's


TEMs (transverse electromagnetic waves) propagate through any dielectric material,
including air. However, they do not propagate well through leaking conductors, such as
seawater, because electrical changes cause currents to flow into the material that rapidly
dissipate the energy of the waves.

Before starting to treat propagation in different media, it is convenient to establish a

classification of some of them, dielectrics and conductors. The separation between
dielectrics or insulators, and conductors is not very well defined, and some means, the
earth, for example, are considered conductors up to certain frequencies, and dielectrics with
losses for higher frequencies.

Taking the Maxwell equation that gives the sources of magnetic field rotational, Ampere
Law modified, and working with fields with sinusoidal variation in time (phasors), we
have: ∇ × H = σ E + j ω ε E (1 )

The first summand of the second member is the conduction current density, while the
second member is the displacement current density.
The relation between the modules of the conduction and displacement current densities,
turns out to be: Jc / Jd = σ / ωε (2)

It is established as a division between conductive materials and dielectrics, when the

previous relation is equal to 1. This dividing line, as seen from the expression, varies with
It is possible to be more specific and classify the media as belonging to three types,
according to the relationship between the density modules of conduction and displacement
currents, namely:

• Dielectrics: σ / ωε <0.01 (3)

• Quasiconductors: 0.01 <σ / ωε <100 (4).
• Drivers: σ / ωε> 100 (5)

Some authors advance even more, dividing the quasi conductors into dielectrics with losses
and bad conductors.
In good conductors, such as metals, the ratio σ / (ωε) is much higher than the unit over the
entire spectrum of radio frequencies. Such is the case of copper that up to relatively high
frequencies, 30,000 MHz, the value of this ratio is 3.5 · 109. Also, in good drivers, both ε
and ω are almost independent of frequency.
In good dielectrics or insulators, the ratio σ / (ωε) is much less than unity. Furthermore, for
most dielectrics, both ε and ω are functions of frequency, although the relation σ / (ωε) is
practically constant within a certain frequency range of interest.
Most of the materials used, either allow the conduction currents to easily pass or prevent
their circulation, that is, they behave as conductors or as dielectrics or insulators, except for
some exceptions among which it is worth mentioning due to their practical importance,
especially in radio links , to the earth and to fresh or salt water, which at low frequencies
are good conductors and at high frequencies are good dielectrics.

The propagation of land waves travels on the surface of the earth, they must be vertically
polarized because the electric field in a horizontally polarized wave would be parallel to the
earth's surface and shorted by the conductivity of the ground. In terrestrial waves the
variable electric field induces voltages in the earth's surface that circulate currents very
similar to those of a transmission line.

The earth's surface also has losses by resistance and by dielectrics. Therefore, ground
waves are attenuated as they propagate by making it better on a good conductive surface
such as salt water and are poorly propagated on surfaces such as deserts.

Table 1. Concentration of formulas to calculate the impedance of the wave, the attenuation
constant and the phase constant of a plane wave.

4. Using the electromagnetic spectrum, explain the practical application of every type of
Microwave waves: One application is that of ovens. Its operation is based on the fact that
very high frequency electromagnetic radiation has a lot of energy, so there is a very large
heat transfer to food in a short time. Communications and radar are two other applications
of microwaves. They are found in microwave ovens to heat and cook food; broadcasting
and telecommunications transmissions due to a large bandwidth, as for example in
microwave television; Satellite communication; radar for air transport and Doppler radar to
track hurricanes and tornadoes; wireless (wireless) protocols in communications and the
Internet; networks in metropolitan areas (MAN); cable television and Internet (in coaxial
cable); cellular telephone networks; semiconductor processing (plasma process);
transmission of energy.

The radio waves: they are used mainly in the treatment called short wave. It is a type of
high frequency alternating current characterized by having a wavelength comprised
between 1 and 30 meters (10-300 MHz). The short wave, due to its high frequency is able
to cross all kinds of bodies, both drivers and non-drivers.
Radio waves are invisible and humans do not detect them, but today they are indispensable
in modern society. The following technologies depend on radio waves: AM and FM
broadcasting, cordless telephones, garage door openers, wireless networks, radio controlled
toys, television transmission, cell phones, GPS receivers, radio amateurs, satellite
communication, radio police, wireless clocks, baby monitors, communication and
navigation satellites, wireless Internet access, aircraft navigation communications.

Radio astronomy can develop on the surface of the earth since the atmosphere is quite
transparent in the region of radio waves. However, observatories in space have certain
advantages. There are several radio telescopes in space: Polar, Cluster II, ISEE 1, ISEE 2,
GOES 9 and Voyager 1. A special technique in radio astronomy called interferometry,
allows you to use two or more telescopes that are far apart to create images that have the
same resolution that if there were a large telescope as large as the distance between the
individual telescopes.
Infrared: they are used when we turn on the television and change channels with our
remote control; In the supermarket, our products are identified by reading the barcodes; we
see and listen to compact discs, thanks to infrared. These are just some of the simplest
applications, since they are also used in security systems, ocean studies, medicine, etc.
Infrared radiation detectors have been developed thanks to the wide variety of infrared
detectors that already exist. These detectors are electro-optical: they absorb electromagnetic
radiation and produce an electrical signal that is generally proportional to the radiation
(intensity of the incident electromagnetic radiation). Depending on the type of detector and
how it operates, the production can be a voltage or a current. An electro-optical detector is
used to detect or measure the radiation emitted or reflected by objects within the optical
field of view of the detector. The detectors are divided into two classes: thermal detectors
or quantum detectors.

Y-rays pass through most materials and can not be reflected in mirrors, such as optical
photons. The γ-ray spectroscopy is important since this region of the electromagnetic
spectrum offers a lot of information about processes that are occurring in the Universe. In
addition to the studies of high resolution ray spectroscopy for astronomical research.
Because of their penetrating power, y-rays are used to verify metal parts and determine
faults. In addition, the detectors are used to verify loads and verify the presence of
radioactive materials, monitor hazardous waste sites and environmental contamination. In
medicine, γ radiations for radiotherapy are widely used for the treatment of certain types of
X-rays: they are used mainly in the fields of scientific research, industry and medicine. X-
rays have found applications at the medical and industrial level. For its detection, several
types of detectors are required. Photographic plates, Geiger counters, scintillation detectors
and semiconductor detectors are used.
X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy is a method that is based on the phenomenon of X-ray
fluorescence, which involves the internal levels of the K and L layers. It is used to measure
the elemental composition of a material. As the method is not destructive and fast, it is
widely used for studies in the field and industrial production for quality control of
X-ray Dispersive Energy spectroscopy identifies the elemental composition of a material
observed in the scanning electron microscope (SEM) of all elements with higher atomic
numbers than boron.
The most important use of X-ray diffraction is X-ray crystallography and powder X-ray
diffraction. Diffraction occurs according to Bragg's law for a crystalline substance. The
electrons that surround the nuclei of the atoms are those that interact with the X-ray
photons of the source. The analysis of the diffraction patterns produced allows determining
the distances between planes, the spatial group and eventually the crystalline and molecular
structure of the material.

The computed tomography (CAT) technique is used to obtain 2D and 3D views of the
internal structure of the body. UV-Visible Applications The variety of practical applications
of the UV-visible region has been developed due to the variety and sensitivity of the
radiation detectors in this region. The main detectors are: photomultiplier tube (PMT),
semiconductor detectors, photodiodes, charge coupled devices (CCD).

Gamma Rays: are used to sterilize instruments that can not be sterilized by other methods,
and with considerably lower risks to health, are also used in radiotherapy.

5. What is the refraction index and what kind of information give us

about the electromagnetic waves behavior?

The refractive index is defined as the speed of light in a vacuum, divided by the speed of
light in the middle. The refractive index (n) of a material medium is the quotient of the
speed of light in vacuum (c) and the speed of light in the medium (v).
Electromagnetic waves propagate through vacuum and when they penetrate a material
medium, their wavelength is reduced proportionally to their refractive index.

If instead of going from the vacuum to a material medium, light passes from one medium
to another, you can use the relative refractive index, from medium 2 to 1. The refractive
indices of two media are inversely proportional to the velocities of the light and the
wavelengths in those media. When the refractive index increases, the speed of light and the
wavelength decrease.

6. What is a plane wave and a non-plane wave and where are they
used? What is a magnetic and a nonmagnetic medium and where are
they used?

In the case of FLAT WAVES, (case of all the models used so far), the vibration energy is
transmitted particle to particle and, there is always the same number of particles in the
following planes, so: INTENSITY in a FLAT WAVE remains constant as it propagates.

A flat or one-dimensional wave, is a wave of constant frequency that has wave fronts
(surfaces with constant phase) parallel planes of constant amplitude normal to the velocity
of phase of the vector. That is, they are those waves that propagate in a single direction
throughout space. If the wave propagates in only one direction, its wave fronts are flat and
parallel. For example, a source of electromagnetic waves such as an antenna produces a
field that is approximately flat in a far field region. That is, at a distance far from the
source, the waves emitted are approximately flat and can be considered as such.

Spherical or non-planar waves. In the case of SPHERICAL WAVES, the vibrational

energy of the particles of a sphere must be transmitted to those of the next sphere (with
greater radius) whereby the energy is distributed each time between more particles with
what the intensity of a Spherical wave should decrease as the distance to the sound source
increases. Since the surface of a sphere is the intensity of a spherical wave, it will vary with
the distance to the focus in the following way:

The INTENSITY of a SPHERICAL WAVE decreases with the square of the distance to the
sound source. This is called ATTENUATION of M.O.

It is called a spherical wave because its wavefronts are concentric spheres, whose centers
coincide with the position of the source of disturbance.

Sound waves are spherical waves when they propagate through a homogeneous and
isotropic medium, such as air or water at rest. Light also spreads in the form of spherical
waves in air, water or vacuum.
Magnetic medium
A magnetic medium is a storage medium that makes use of magnetic patterns to
characterize the information. The magnetic storage means uses a magnetic read and write
data head. The medium used for storage can be a plastic tape coated with fine particles of a
Examples of magnetic media are:
• Floppy Disks, Flexible Disks or Floppy Disks (FD)
• Hard Drives, Rigid Discs or Hard Disks (HD)
A non-magnetic medium is a medium that does not require magnetic patterns to
characterize the information.


M. A. Plonus. Loss tangent or dissipation factor. Applied electromagnetism. Editorial

Reverté. Pag 588.

David C. Cassidy, Gerald James Holton, Floyd James Rutherford

(2002). Understanding physics. Birkhäuser.

Crawford jr., Frank S. (1968). Waves (Berkeley Physics Course, Vol. 3),