Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Thomas K. Ishii

Second Advisor

Jan K. Sedivy

Third Advisor

James A. Heinen

Fourth Advisor

Phillip R. Bender

Fifth Advisor

Peter H. Wackman


On January 10, 1884 Lord Rayleigh presented a paper entitled "On the Transfer of Energy in the Electromagnetic Field" to the Royal Society of London. This paper had been authored by the late Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, Professor J. H. Poynting and in it he claimed that there was a general law for the transfer of electromagnetic energy. He argued that associated with each point in space is a quantity, that has since been called the Poynting vector, that is a measure of the rate of energy flow per unit area. His analysis was concerned with the integration of this power density vector at all points over an enclosing surface of a specific volume. The interpretation of this Poynting vector as a true measure of the local power density was viewed with great skepticism unless the vector was integrated over a closed surface, as the development of the concept required. However, within the last decade or so Shadowitz indicates that a number of prominent authors have argued that the criticism of the interpretation of Poynting's vector as a local power density vector is unjustified. The present paper is not concerned with these arguments but instead is concerned with a decomposition of Poynting's power density vector into two and only two components: one vector which has the same direction as Poynting's vector and which is called the forward power density vector, and another vector, directed opposite to the Poynting vector and called the reverse power density vector. These new local forward and reverse power density vectors will be shown to be dependent upon forward and reverse power wave vectors and these vectors in turn will be related to newly defined forward and reverse components of the electric and magnetic fields. The sum of these forward and reverse power density vectors, which is simply the original Poynting vector, is associated with the total electromagnetic energy traveling past the local point. Another vector which is the difference between the forward and reverse power density vectors and which will be shown to be associated with the total electric and magnetic field energy densities existing at a local point will also be introduced. These local forward and reverse power density vectors may be integrated over a surface to determine the forward and reverse powers and from these results problems related to maximum power transfer or efficiency of electromagnetic energy transmission in space may be studied in a manner similar to that presently being done with transmission lines, wave guides, and more recently with two port multiport lumped parameter systems. These new forward and reverse power density vectors at a point in space are analogous to the forward and revoltages or currents and power waves as used with the transmission line, waveguide, or port. These power wave vectors in space are a generalization of the power waves as developed by Penfield, Youla, and Kurokawa and used with the scattering parameters associated with transmission lines, waveguides and ports.


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