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Computational electromagnetics (CEM) has become a big research area, which has seen rapid advances for solving more and more difficult problems in electromagnetics. We are trying to solve an incredibly wide range of real-life problems in diverse application areas, including but not limited to antennas, radar, optics, medical imaging, wireless communications, nanotechnology, metamaterials, photonic crystals, remote sensing, and electronic packaging. All of these involve electromagnetic waves and their interactions with matter via scattering, radiation, transmission, diffraction, reflection, and refraction phenomena. We are attacking these problems using our knowledge and implementing various algorithms on different sizes of computers, from notebooks to huge servers with thousands of cores. All these efforts are directed toward obtaining more-accurate and efficient solutions. However, as in all research areas, we often find ourselves sitting in front of a computer, scratching our heads when looking at the results on the screen, and asking the ultimate question: What is this?
Date of Publication: Aug. 2012