Welcome to EMANIM!
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).
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.
The rate of the animation can be set, and there is an option to only show the vectors at the planes without the wave profiles in between so that the movement of the vectors can be easier to compare.
Using the Phenomenon menu, you can select from several predefined sets of parameters corresponding to various electromagnetic phenomena. When a phenomenon is selected, a short explanation of it is displayed.
The scene can be rotated and zoomed (see Help menu to learn how). The View menu contains a few predefined camera angles for easier viewing of the scene, and you can also switch to full screen mode. It also contains an option to generate a permalink to EMANIM with the current wave parameters preset so you can save it for yourself or for sharing it. There is also an option to generate an animated GIF image of the current scene, for people who would like to download an animation e.g. for inclusion into a presentation.
If you do not like the default color scheme, you can set up your own colors using the Color menu.