Lorentz Reciprocity Theorem Page 1

Lorentz Reciprocity Theorem
Reciprocity is an important concept in antennas because it produced implications when we reverse
the role of transmitting antennas and receiving antennas. A formal derivation of the Lorentz
Reciprocity Theorem begins by considering a volume containing two sets of sources, J 1 and J 2 ,
which each produce fields E 1 , H 1 and E 2 , H 2 , respectively, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Volume containing two electric sources

Consider the quantity
∇ · (E 1 × H 2 − E 2 × H 1 ), (1)
which is expandable using a vector identity as
(∇ × E 1 ) · H 2 − (∇ × H 2 ) · E 1 − (∇ × E 2 ) · H 1 + (∇ × H 1 ) · E 2 . (2)
From Maxwell’s curl equations,
∇ × E1 = −jωµH 1 (3)
∇ × H1 = jωE 1 + J 1 (4)
∇ × E2 = −jωµH 2 (5)
∇ × H2 = jωE 2 + J 2 . (6)
Therefore,
∇ · (E 1 × H 2 − E 2 × H 1 ) = −jωµH 1 · H 2 − jωE 2 · E 1 − J 2 · E 1 (7)
+jωµH 2 · H 1 + jωE 1 · E 2 + J 1 · E 2
= J 1 · E 2 − J 2 · E 1. (8)
Since we took the divergence of a quantity in (1), let us now integrate the divergence over the
volume of interest:
˚ ˚
0
∇ · (E 1 × H 2 − E 2 × H 1 )dv = (J 1 · E 2 − J 2 · E 1 )dv 0 (9)
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Applying the Divergence Theorem to the left hand side:
" ˚
0
(E 1 × H 2 − E 2 × H 1 ) · ds = (J 1 · E 2 − J 2 · E 1 )dv 0 . (10)
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Prof. Sean Victor Hum ECE422: Radio and Microwave Wireless Systems
Lorentz Reciprocity Theorem Page 2

A more useful form of this theorem, applicable to antennas, is found by noticing that for electric
and magnetic fields observed a large distance from a source (e.g., a sphere of infinite radius
surrounding an antenna),

• E × H points in the radial direction normal to the sphere, n̂.

• E and H are related through H = (n̂ × E)/η.

Using the latter relation, the integrand on the left hand side of (10) can be re-written as

(E 1 × H 2 − E 2 × H 1 ) · n̂dS = (n̂ × E 1 ) · H 2 − (n̂ × E 2 ) · H 1 (11)
= ηH 1 · H 2 − ηH 2 · H 1 (12)
= 0 (13)

Hence, ˚ ˚
0
J 1 · E 2 dv = J 2 · E 1 dv 0 (14)
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This is the form of the Reciprocity Theorem that is used in the analysis of receiving antennas.

Prof. Sean Victor Hum ECE422: Radio and Microwave Wireless Systems