Daily Facts
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Misuse of 'Electrostatic'

January 26th Fact-of-the-Day

It is common for Amateur Radio literature and even some scholarly papers written by PhD's to state that radio frequency waves have electrostatic and magnetic fields. That is fundamentally untrue. The frequency would have to be zero for the electric field to be static and zero frequency is not a radio frequency. Furthermore, if the electric field was electrostatic the magnetic field would be magnetostatic, because the frequency of both fields is always the same in electromagnetic radiation. If the two fields were static, there would be no discernable relationship between them and the result would not be a radio wave. Radio waves have dynamic electric and magnetic fields. It is correct to refer to them simply as electric and magnetic fields, but it is not correct to refer to them as electrostatic and magnetic fields. ©2005 Martek International All rights reserved.


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