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Is Malus' Law a law, or does it derive from Maxwells equations? 
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#1
Jun2007, 02:57 AM

P: 50

Well the question is in the title. Does Malus' Law (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malus%27s_law ) follow automatically from Maxwell's equations, or is it really an extra thing put in by hand? In particular I'm interested if there is a purely classical electromagnetic explanation (i.e. without having to go into the quantum mechanics of wither the light or the polarising medium at all...)



#2
Jun2007, 08:09 PM

Sci Advisor
P: 1,477

Malus' law falls naturally out of Jones Calculus.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jones_calculus Jones Calculus basically involves representing an EM wave as a vector, and optical components as matrices, with the matrices defined such that it transforms the incoming EM wave vector in the correct way. For example, a halfwave plate will have a matrix that rotates the incoming vector by 90 degrees. Jones Calculus falls naturally from the theory of EMwaves, which in turn drops out of Maxwell's equations. Claude. 


#3
Mar2011, 01:51 PM

P: 287

Malus law is a quantum law, in principle. Can we calculate it in a quantum way, so for photons? In the above link this not exist.
This was calculated by Brukner, but without imaginary numbers. I am interested in classical derivation? quantph/0212084v1 


#4
Mar2211, 09:41 AM

Sci Advisor
P: 1,943

Is Malus' Law a law, or does it derive from Maxwells equations?



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