EMANIM is a web app displaying interactive animations of electromagnetic waves and presenting phenomena such as polarization, superposition, interference, absorption, refraction, and optical activity (linear and circular dichroism and birefringence). It is available in English, German, French, Chinese, Japanese, and Hungarian.
EMANIM animates electromagnetic waves in vacuum and in matter. For clarity, only the electric component is shown at all times (the magnetic component is always perpendicular to the electric component and its magnitude oscillates in the same phase as that of the electric component). More Info »
In EMANIM, you can set up two waves (Wave 1 and Wave 2) with selectable polarization (horizontal, vertical, left circular or right circular) and you can show their superposition (Wave 1 + Wave 2). The waves as they move forward are shown between two planes; the electric field vectors are displayed at the planes. Using the controls, the amplitudes and wavelengths of the waves as well as their phase difference (the phase of Wave 2 relative to Wave 1) can be adjusted. The directon of Wave 1 can be reversed, to study waves traveling in opposite directions.
To study the interaction between light and matter, a piece of material can be inserted between the two planes. The length of this material as well as its extinction coefficients and indices of refraction for both waves can be adjusted using the controls.