Electromagnetic Wave Propagation in Ice

  • V. V. Bogorodsky
  • C. R. Bentley
  • P. E. Gudmandsen
Part of the Glaciology and Quaternary Geology book series (GQGE, volume 1)


A review of the physical properties of ice naturally starts with a description of the water molecule. The water molecule is a combination of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom, and is triangular in shape. The fact that the molecule is not linear has been know for many years both from studies of the specific heat of water vapor and from the fact that water is a polar molecule with a permanent electric dipole moment. Furthermore, the triangle must be isosceles because an asymmetrical molecule would be unstable. The explanation for the triangular shape appears when the electronic structure of the oxygen atom is examined. The eight electrons surrounding an oxygen nucleus are found two each in two spherical shells (1s, and 2s), the other four being found distributed among the three dumbbell-shaped shells (2p) that represent the next higher energy level. There are thus two vacancies, one in each of two of the dumbbells. The water molecule is formed by a homopolar (covalent) bond between two hydrogen atoms with their single electrons and the two holes around the oxygen atom. The repulsion between the positive charges on the hydrogen atoms forces the angle between the legs of the triangle open beyond 90° to a value of about 104.5°. The distance between the oxygen and hydrogen nuclei is slightly less than 10-4 microns.


Characteristic Relaxation Time Electromagnetic Wave Propagation Ionic Defect Orientational Defect Debye Equation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. [1]
    Bullemer, B., Engelhardt, H., Riehl, N. ‘Protonic conduction of ice. I. High temperature region’. In: N. Riehl et al., eds: Physics of Ice. New York 1969 Plenum Press, pp. 416–429.Google Scholar
  2. [2]
    Chan. R.K., Davidson, D.W., Whalley, E. ‘Effect of pressure on the dielectric properties of ice I’. J. Chem. Phys., 1965, 43, 2376–2383.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. [3]
    3] Fletcher. N.H. The chemical physics of ice. Cambridge Univ. Press, 1970, 271 pp.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. [4]
    Glen. J.W., Paren, J.G. ‘The electrical properties of snow and ice’. J. Glaciol., 1975, 15 (73), 15–38.Google Scholar
  5. [5]
    Gough. S.R. ‘A low temperature dielectric cell and the permittivity of hexagonal ice to 2 K’. Can. J. Chemistry. 1972. 50 (18). 3046–3051.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. [6]
    Gross. G.W.. Havslip. I.C., Hoy, R.N. ‘Electrical conductivity and relaxation in ice crystals with known impurity content’. J. Glaciol., 1978. 21 (85), 143–160.Google Scholar
  7. [7]
    Humbel. F., Jona, F., Scherrer, P. ‘Anisotropie der Dielectrizitätskonstante des Eises’. Helv. Phys. Acta. 1953, 26. 17–32.Google Scholar
  8. [8]
    Johari, G.P., Charette, P.A. ‘The permittivity and attenuation in polycrystalline and single-crystal ice Ih at 35 and 60 MHz’. J. Glaciol., 1975. 14 (71), 293–303.Google Scholar
  9. [9]
    Johari. G.P.. Jones, S.J. ‘The orientation polarization in hexagonal ice parallel and perpendicular to the c-axis’. J. Glaciol., 1978, 21 (85) 259–276.Google Scholar
  10. [10]
    Kamb. B. ‘Ice polymorphism and the structure of liquid water’. In: A. Rich and N. Davidson, eds. Structural Chemistry and Molecular Biology. Freeman. San Francisco, 1968.Google Scholar
  11. [11]
    Peterson. S.W.. Levy, H.A. A single-crystal neutron diffraction study of heavy ice. Acta Crystallogr., 1957. 10, 70–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. [12]
    Ramo. S. et al. Fields and waves in communication electronics. Chapter 6. New York. 1965.Google Scholar
  13. [13]
    Ruepp, R. ‘Electrical properties of ice Ih in single crystals’. In: E. Whalley et al., eds. Physics and Chemistry of Ice. Ottawa, 1973, Roy. Soc. Canada, pp. 179–186.Google Scholar
  14. [14]
    Taubenberger, R.M., Hubmann, M., Gränicher, H. ‘Effect of hydrostatic pressure on the di-electric properties of ice Ih in single crystals’. In: Physics and Chemistry of Ice. Ottawa, 1973, pp. 194–198.Google Scholar
  15. [15]
    von Hippel. A., Knoll, D.B., Westphal. W.B. ‘Transfer of protons through ‘pure’ ice Ih single crystals. I. Polarization spectra of ice Ih’. J. Chem. Phys., 1971, 54, 134–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. [16]
    Wiener, O. ‘Zur Theories der Refraktionskonstanten. Berichts üder die Verhandlungen der Königlich Sächsischen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Leipzig’. Mathematisch-physikalische Klasse. 1910, Bd. 62, Hf. 5, pp. 256–268.Google Scholar
  17. [17]
    Robin, G. de Q, Evans, S., Bailey, J.T., ‘Interpretation of radio echo sounding in polar ice sheets’. Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. London, Series A, 1969, 265, 437–505.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. V. Bogorodsky
    • 1
  • C. R. Bentley
    • 2
  • P. E. Gudmandsen
    • 3
  1. 1.Arctic and Antarctic Scientific Research InstituteLeningradUSSR
  2. 2.Geophysical and Polar Research CenterUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonUSA
  3. 3.Technical University of DenmarkCopenhagenDenmark

Personalised recommendations