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Circuit Theory and EM Theory

Why EM Theory

Circuit Theory
Circuit theory deals with electrical circuit.
An engineer can predict the performance of
complicated electrical networks with the help
of circuit theory.
But this theory has certain limitations like :
It cannot be applied in free space.
It is useful only at low frequencies.

This theory is unsuccessful in explaining the

radiation of electromagnetic waves into space
in radio communications.
It cannot be used to analyse or design a
complete communication system. Example:
Radio Communication System.

Field theory has following advantages

in comparison to circuit theory
It is also applicable in free space.
It is useful at all frequencies, particularly at
high frequencies,
The radiation effect can be considered.
This theory can be used to analyse or design a
complete communication system. Example:
Wireless Communication, Radio

Electromagnetic Field Theory

Although electromagnetic Field Theory (EMFT)
is complex in comparison with circuit theory
but EMFT is simplified by using appropriate
mathematics. This theory deals with E and H
vectors, whereas circuit theory deals with
voltages and currents.

Relationship between Field Theory

and Circuit Theory
At lower frequencies where physical circuit
dimensions are small compared to the
wavelength of electromagnetic waves, the
behaviour of circuits is accurately modelled using
lumped element component models, together
with Kirchhoffs laws
At higher frequencies where the distances
between components are a significant fraction of
a wavelength and greater, the signals carrying
information or power from one place in a circuit
to another are treated as waves.

Signals must be routed from one point to

another using transmission lines, modelled
using transmission line theory.
If the component dimensions be comparable
understanding and prediction of behaviour
may require modelling using electromagnetic
field and wave theory

why dB is used in microwaves

A decibel is a convenient logarithmic ratio of
two RF power or RF voltage levels (usually
input and output levels).
The beautiful thing about log ratios is that
multiplication of "linear" numbers becomes
addition, and division becomes subtraction.
The conversion of linear ratios to dB is:
10xlog(power level2/power level1), or
20xlog(voltage level2/voltage level1)

Decibels are very useful for talking about

increases (gains) or decreases (losses) without
talking about the actual power or voltage levels.
Remember, though, that dB by itself isn't a unit
like millimeters or inch, it's all relative.
A negative number of dB indicates loss or
reduction in signal strength, while a positive
number indicates gain or increase in signal
When you refer to a loss in dB, it is customary to
eliminate the negative sign
The decibel system is used when quantities can
vary by massive amounts.

Table I. Conversion between Linear

Units and Decibels
Linear Value

dB Value


-100 dB


-90 dB


-60 dB


-30 dB


-10 dB


-3 dB

0 dB


10 dB


20 dB


30 dB


60 dB