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Scan10001 - Physics 7C Incident polarization Incident beam...

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Unformatted text preview: Physics 7C Incident polarization Incident beam Polarization axis Transmitted beam Linear polarizer Fig. 2: A linear polarizer allowing only the component of linear polarization along its polarization axis to be transmitted. The wave is travelling along the plane of the page and the polarizer is perpendicular to the page. In a natural light source, the light emitted by each atom of the source has a specific polarization, which is some superposition of different linear polarizations. The combination of all these different linear polarizations from each atom makes the total light from a natural source unpolarized. When unpolarized light hits a linear polarizer, a different amount of each of these linearly polarized components will be transmitted. On average, however, half of the intensity of each component will get through, so the final transmitted intensity will be 10/2. A good way to distinguish betweeen unpolarized and linearly polarized light is to shine it through a linear polarizer. If the amount of transmitted intensity depends on the angle of the polarization axis as per Equation 1, the light is linearly polarized. If the transmitted intensity is always half of the incident intensity for all angles of the polarization axis, it’s unpolarized. Real linear polarizers absorb a bit more light from linearly polarized light than you’d expect from Equation 1, and more than 10/2 for unpolarized light. This “extra” absorption is because not all of the intensity along the polarization axis is transmitted, due to imperfections in the polarizer. However, even in real, imperfect linear polarizers, all incident light of any polarization (including unpolarized light) emerges linearly polarized along the polarization axis. This is the most straightforward way of generating linearly polarized light. POLARIZATION 3 57 ...
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