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A question about the polarization due to reflection

  1. Nov 21, 2008 #1
    it is known that light reflected at the Brewster angle is plane polarized. This is due to during an oscillation of charge, no transverse wave is generated in the direction of oscillation, and the amplitude is maximum for wave propagating perpendicular to the direction of oscillation. But i came across a problem when thinking : The light is emitted from oscilation of charge due to the change of electic field when oscilation. Along the direction of oscillation, there is still change in electric field, but seems to be in a longitudinal manner. But of course there isn't longitudinal EM waves, and no energy is transferred in this direction, but why is that? There is a chnge in electic field along the direction of oscillation, but why no energy is tranffered along this direction?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 22, 2008 #2
    I don't know if I understand your question correctly. You said the answer yourself - the electric field is always perpendicular to the direction of propagation of the wave (i.e. the direction of propagation of energy). Why is this so? It is simply a consequence of Maxwell's equations :smile:
  4. Nov 24, 2008 #3

    Andy Resnick

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    There is, sort of- evanescent waves. They are a near-field phenomenon.
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