Electromagnetic Wave Propagation in Ice
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.
KeywordsCharacteristic Relaxation Time Electromagnetic Wave Propagation Ionic Defect Orientational Defect Debye Equation
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