Archive ouverte HAL – Electromagnetic surface wave propagation in a metallic wire and the Lambert W function

J. Ricardo G. Mendonça 1

J. Ricardo G. Mendonça. Electromagnetic surface wave propagation in a metallic wire and the Lambert W function. American Journal of Physics, American Association of Physics Teachers, 2019, 87 (6), pp.476-484. ⟨10.1119/1.5100943⟩. ⟨hal-02291821⟩

We revisit the solution due to Sommerfeld of a problem in classical electrodynamics, namely, that of the propagation of an electromagnetic axially symmetric surface wave (a low-attenuation single TM$_{01}$ mode) in a cylindrical metallic wire, and his iterative method to solve the transcendental equation that appears in the determination of the propagation wave number from the boundary conditions. We present an elementary analysis of the convergence of Sommerfeld's iterative solution of the approximate problem and compare it with both the numerical solution of the exact transcendental equation and the solution of the approximate problem by means of the Lambert $W$ function.

  • 1. LPTMS - Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Modèles Statistiques