This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: to a material with index of refraction nr it will bend to a new angle θr according to the
ni sin θi = nr sin θr
(2) 2.3 Polarization and Brewster’s Angle Light is composed of transverse electromagnetic waves produced by vibrating charges. These waves
consist of electric and magnetic ﬁelds oscillating in the plane perpendicular to the direction of propagation.
The polarization of light describes the direction of the electric ﬁeld in this plane. When the electric ﬁeld
is oscillating in random directions the light is said to be unpolarized, while if the electric ﬁeld is only
oscillating in one direction the light is called linearly polarized. If we look at the horizontal and vertical
components of the electric ﬁeld in unpolarized light, we will ﬁnd that, on average, it does half of its
oscillating in the horizontal direction and half in the vertical direction. By shining light through a linear
polarizer we block out the oscillations in one direction, leaving the light linearly polarized. We will use
this effect to investigate some interesting phenomena involving polarizers and polarization.
If we polarize lig...
View Full Document
This document was uploaded on 02/15/2014.
- Spring '14