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Investigating the wave properties of microwaves J. Madalipay, N. Galban, F. Lopez, R. Yadao G.

Malapit Department of Physical Sciences, University of the Philippines Baguio

26 June 2013

Abstract:
Microwaves are in the low energy part of the electromagnetic spectrum but with longer wavelength. Here, a microwave optics set up was used to understand the underlying concept of electromagnetic waves. Properties of light such as its wave nature and also polarization were confirmed. Also, the Gaussian output distribution was also analyzed.

Introduction: Microwaves are light waves whose wavelengths are found on the electromagnetic spectrum between 0.3m and 10-4m and frequencies between 109Hz and 1012Hz. When two electromagnetic waves meet in space, they superpose and the total electric field at any point in space is the sum of the electric fields created by the two waves at that point. If the two waves travel at the same frequency but in opposite direction they form a standing wave. Nodes appear where the fields of the two waves cancel and antinodes appear where the superposed field oscillates with maximal amplitude. The distance between the nodes in the standing wave pattern is just one half of the wavelength of the two waves Methodology: In this introductory experiment on microwave system, a transmitter, receiver, goniometer and reflector were used. The transmitter and the receiver were attached to the goniometer (the transmitted attached in the fixed arm) and arranged in such a way that they are directly aligned at each other. It was made sure that the horns of the transmitter and the receiver were in the same orientation in order to have the same polarity. The position of the transmitter and receiver were adjusted such that the distance R between the effective point of emission and reception of the transmitted signal is 40 centimeters. The points of transmission and reception can be located at five centimeters from the edge of the horns. The intensity on the receiver was adjusted to 30X to fully attain the 1.0 meter reading. The distance R was adjusted and for every increment of five centimeters, the meter reading M was recorded. The distance R was then set to 80 centimeters and the meter was observed as the distance between the transmitter and receiver was decreased. The distance R was next set to 70 centimeters and a reflector was

placed parallel to the axis of the microwave beam, moving toward and away from the beam axis. The changes in the meter reading were observed. The receiver was rotated to change the polarity of maximum detection. Starting at zero degree, the angle is increased until a full 360 degree rotation is attained. The meter reading was noted at every increment of 30o. Lastly, the transmitter was set such that the output surface of the horn is centered directly over the center of the degree plate of the goniometer arm. The receiver was positioned directly facing the transmitter and far back on the goniometer arm. The rotatable arm was then rotated from 0o to 180o, having set an increment of 10o for the meter reading. Results and Discussion: The first set of data obtained in the experiment shows an apparent trend in the meter reading as the distance between the transmitter and receiver is increased. It can be seen from Table 1 that as the distance R is increased, the relative intensity decreases and forms a nearly smooth graph as shown in Figure 1. This is true for intervals of distance equal to 10 cm. The relative intensity obtained here is thirty times that of the meter reading in the receiver since the intensity was set at 30X during the experiment. R (cm) 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Meter reading 0.5 0.36 0.28 0.24 0.2 0.2 0.16 relative intensity 15 10.8 8.4 7.2 6 6 4.8 MxR 600 540 504 504 480 540 480 MxR2 24000 27000 30240 35280 38400 48600 48000

Table 1. The relative intensity detected by the receiver as the distance R is increased with increment of 10 cm.

16

14

Relative intensity (a.u.)

12

10

4 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 110

Distance (cm)

Figure 1. Graph of the relative intensity obtained when the distance R between the transmitter and receiver is increased. It can be noted that the slight change in the curve of the graph is due to the sinusoidal nature of the microwave since it forms standing waves. The wavelength of the microwave used in the experiment is 2.85 cm, meaning that it is and will never be in phase with the 10cm increment, so it is expected that the graph will meet some crest and trough of the microwave thus creating a sudden hump in the graph. However, when the increment is decreased to 5 cm, it can be noticed that there is a sinusoidal projection as can be observed in Table 2. To have a clearer view, a graph is presented in Figure 2. R (cm) 40 45 50 55 60 65 70 75 80 85 90 95 100 Meter reading 0.5 0.5 0.36 0.42 0.28 0.3 0.24 0.22 0.2 0.2 0.2 0.16 0.16 relative intensity 15 15 10.8 12.6 8.4 9 7.2 6.6 6 6 6 4.8 4.8 MxR 600 675 540 693 504 585 504 495 480 510 540 456 480 M x R2 24000 30375 27000 38115 30240 38025 35280 37125 38400 43350 48600 43320 48000

Table 2. The relative intensity detected by the receiver as the distance R is increased with increment of 10 cm.
16

14

Relative intensity (a.u.)

12

10

4 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 110

Distance (cm)

Figure 2. The Graph of the relative intensity obtained when the distance R between the transmitter and receiver is increased. The graph here strongly shows the wave property of the microwave since peaks and troughs are visible. But again it is not completely sinusoidal because the 2.85 cm wavelength of the microwave used will never be in phase continuously with that of the 5 cm increment used. It is recommended to use a 2.85 cm distance increment when doing this part of the experiment to fully show the wave nature of the microwave. When the distance R was set at 80 cm and the distance between the transmitter and receiver was slowly decreased, the meter reading is not increasing steadily but instead it increases sinusoidally, meaning, it oscillates as it increases. Also, when a reflector was placed parallel to the axis of the microwave beam, the relative intensity inceases.

35 Trial 1 Trial 2

30

Relative intensity (a.u)

25

20

15

10

0 0 100 200 300

Angle ()

Figure 3. The polarization graph of the microwave set-up.

It can be seen from the polarization graph shown in figure 3 that the highest signal is attained when the transmitter and the receiver have the same orientation. However when they are 90o at each other, there is virtually no signal detected since the relative intensity is very close to zero. Since in this case the light travels in free space, it propagates as a transverse wave and thus the polarizatio n is perpendicular to the waves direction of travel.

From figure 4 below, the graph is close to a Gaussian distribution and it can be observed that the output distributions in the vertical and horizontal orientations are somehow correlated.

35

30

Trial 1 Trial 2

Relative intensity (a.u.)

25

20

15

10

0 -50 0 50

Angle ()

Figure 4. The microwave output distribution with respect to the wave propagation axis.

Conclusion: From the results, it is proved that the microwave follows the principle of the electromagnetic spectrum. It is clear that the microwaves oscillate at short distances meaning at higher intensities. The polarization of light was also proved using microwaves and the Gaussian property of microwaves was also observed. References;