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Conservation of angular momentum

  1. Oct 17, 2012 #1
    If the incident radiation is linearly polarized can the scattered radiation be circularly or elliptically polarized? If the scatter is a lossless dielectric the scattered radiation is not elliptically polarized. How about if the scatter is conducting? if the scattered radiation is elliptically polarized, does it violate the conservation of angular momentum?

    Many thanks!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 17, 2012 #2

    mfb

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    Staff: Mentor

    Scattering where?
    In general, the material can get (or lose) angular momentum. In addition, angular momentum in some specific frame can come from the position of the photon itself (together with the velocity), its intrinsic angular momentum is just one component.
     
  4. Oct 17, 2012 #3
    mfb,

    Thank you for the quick reply!

    In classical eletromagnetic theory, if the incident EM wave is linearly polarized (no angular momentum) and it is scattered by a fixed spherical perfect conductor, then can the scattered EM wave be elliptically polarized?

    rays
     
  5. Oct 17, 2012 #4

    mfb

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    I would expect this in the general case (at least for some scattering angles), but I don't know.
     
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