Reflected light from a polarizer

by DivGradCurl
Tags: light, polarizer, reflected
DivGradCurl is offline
Feb1-12, 12:21 PM
P: 350
Hi Folks,

I have a general question. What happens to unpolarized light once it's reflected from a polarizer?

My best guess is that it's polarized with opposite parity relative to the transmitted light with intensity varying as a function of angle of incidence.

I think my answer applies to any polarizer (linear or circular). If you have a reference that addresses effects upon reflection from a polarizer, I'd be glad to read more. Thanks.
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Andy Resnick
Andy Resnick is offline
Feb1-12, 02:30 PM
Sci Advisor
P: 5,467
There are different kinds of polarizers: for example, a Glan-Thomspon prism transmits the orthogonal states in different directions. Polaroid (IIRC) absorbs one component.
DivGradCurl is offline
Feb1-12, 02:42 PM
P: 350
I'm sorry, I did not mention I'm assuming a sheet polarizer. However, I guess it doesn't matter too much. I'm just curious about how different the reflected component would be from the transmitted counterpart (in a general sense).

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