Three-dimensional electromagnetic wave polarizations in a plasma
Article first published online: 22 NOV 2002
Copyright 2002 by the American Geophysical Union.
Volume 37, Issue 6, pages 12-1–12-13, December 2002
How to Cite
Three-dimensional electromagnetic wave polarizations in a plasma, Radio Sci., 37(6), 1100, doi:10.1029/2001RS002496, 2002., and ,
- Issue published online: 22 NOV 2002
- Article first published online: 22 NOV 2002
- Manuscript Accepted: 19 JUL 2002
- Manuscript Revised: 10 JUN 2002
- Manuscript Received: 18 MAY 2001
 It is known that electromagnetic waves propagating in a magnetized cold plasma are not necessarily purely transverse waves. The existence of a longitudinal component implies that the normal to the polarization plane is not, in general, parallel to the propagation vector. The offset angle between these two directions is computed for each characteristic wave. Our investigation shows that the offset angle can be large under certain conditions. For a wave field that is a superposition of two characteristic waves, its polarization plane wobbles in space as the field propagates while its normal precesses. Several examples are considered, computed, and given to illustrate the 3D nature of wave polarizations.