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RF and Microwave Engineering: Fundamentals of Wireless Communications by Frank Gustrau

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8.1 Propagation Mechanisms

8.1.1 Reflection and Refraction

In free space plane waves and spherical waves may propagate. In Section 2.5.3 we looked at reflection and refraction of plane waves interacting with material interfaces. In the following we will summarize the basics and include further physical effects of wave propagation that are important when investigating path loss.

Figure 8.1a shows a plane wave (starting in medium 1) that impinges on a material interface under an angle of ϑf (oblique incidence). There are two physical effects to be observed:

Reflection: A plane wave that hits a material surface is partly reflected back into medium 1. The angle of reflection ϑr equals the angle of incidence ϑf.
Refraction: A plane wave that hits a material surface is partly transmitted through the material interface into medium 2. Due to different phase velocities in the different media, the plane wave changes its direction of travel. The angle of transmission ϑt may be smaller or greater than the angle of incidence ϑf (see Section 2.5.3).

Figure 8.1 Reflection and refraction of a plane wave that impinges on a plane interface of two media.

8.1

Figure 8.1b illustrates the situation by looking at a single, positive wavefront at a certain instant in time. The wavefront in medium 1 hits the dielectric material interface at an angle of ϑf = 45°. The relative permittivity of medium ...

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