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waveguide, device that controls the propagation of an electromagnetic wave so that the wave is forced to follow a path defined by the physical structure of the guide. Waveguides, which are useful chiefly at microwave frequencies in such applications as connecting the output amplifier of a radar set to its antenna, typically take the form of rectangular hollow metal tubes but have also been built into integrated circuits. A waveguide of a given dimension will not propagate electromagnetic waves lower than a certain frequency (the cutoff frequency). Generally speaking, the electric and magnetic fields of an electromagnetic wave have a number of possible arrangements when the wave is traveling through a waveguide. Each of these arrangements is known as a mode of propagation. Waveguides also have some use at optical frequencies.
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waveguide(wayv -gÿd) A metal tube, usually of rectangular cross section, down which traveling electromagnetic waves may be propagated. In a more general sense it is any system of material boundaries that fulfills the same purpose, such as layers of plasma in the ionosphere. Waveguides are used at microwave frequencies where dielectric losses in radio cables become excessive; they are therefore used as feeders in radio telescopes. The guided waves may be radiated away at the end of the waveguide by a horn antenna, which is a flared metal device having the dimensions of the waveguide at one end and opening out to a large aperture at the other end.
Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006
Broadly, a device which constrains or guides the propagation of electromagnetic waves along a path defined by the physical construction of the waveguide; includes ducts, a pair of parallel wires, and a coaxial cable. Also known as microwave waveguide.
More specifically, a metallic tube which can confine and guide the propagation of electromagnetic waves in the lengthwise direction of the tube.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
waveguideA rectangular, circular or elliptical tube through which electromagnetic waves are transmitted. An optical fiber is an optical waveguide.
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