Solution to 1996 Problem 54

Setting z = 0, E_1 = E_2 = E, and taking the real part of the given equation for the electric field vector, we find that

\begin{align*}\mathbf{E}\left(x,y,z = 0,t\right) = E\hat{\mathbf{x}}\cos \left(\omega t \right) + E\hat{\mathbf{y}}\cos \left...
This describes a line that goes through the points (E,-E) and (-E,E). Therefore, either answer a) or answer b) is correct. If the angles in answers a) and b) are the standard azimuthal angles, i.e. angles measured counterclockwise from the x-axis, then answer (B) is correct (but this is really not clear from the problem statement).

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