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# ch26_print_2 - The Refraction of Light 1 Polarization and...

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The Refraction of Light 1 – Polarization and the Reflection and Refraction of Light The most common technique to produce polarized light is to use a material that only allows for the transmission of a certain component of the electric field. Polarization can also be achieved by reflection and refraction. When unpolarized light is reflected from a nonmetallic surface, it may be completely polarized, partially polarized, or unpolarized depending on the angle of incidence. If the angle of incidence is 0 , the reflected beam is unpolarized. For a particular angle of incidence, the Brewster angle , the angle be- tween the reflected and refracted beam is 90 , the reflected beam is completely polarized with its electric field vector parallel to the sur- face and the refracted beam is partially polarized. Dr.D.Wackeroth Spring 2005 PHY102A The Refraction of Light The Brewster angle θ can be determined as follows. Since θ 2 = 90 - θ , sin θ 2 = cos θ . From Snell’s law one then finds: n 2 n 1 = sin θ sin θ 2 = sin θ cos θ or n 2 n 1 = tan θ (1) Dr.D.Wackeroth Spring 2005 PHY102A

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The Refraction of Light 2 – Dispersion of Light and Prisms In anything but vacuum, the index of refraction depends on the wave- length of light. This phenomenon is called dispersion . Snell’s law then implies that different wavelengths are bent at different angles when incident on a refracting material. The index of refraction decreases with increasing wavelength. This means that blue light ( λ 470 nm) or violet light ( λ 410 nm) bends more than red light ( λ 650 nm). Application: Prisms, Rainbow : Dr.D.Wackeroth Spring 2005 PHY102A The Refraction of Light 3 – Images formed by Refraction: Lenses
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ch26_print_2 - The Refraction of Light 1 Polarization and...

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