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Propagation of waves in a compressible, isotropic, collisionless electron plasma is studied. Optical and acoustic modes of propagation are examined in detail. Scattering and guiding properties of a plane interface between free space and plasma are investigated. It is found that electromagnetic energy in theory can be completely converted into plasma waves. A surface wave is found whose properties are affected slightly by the compressibility for . In contrast to the case of purely dielectric plasma, this surface wave has no high-frequency cutoff. Formal expressions for electromagnetic and acoustic fields excited by a magnetic line source in free space, parallel to the interface, are obtained.