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Homework Help: Elliptical partially polarized beam and its intensity

  1. May 19, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A partially elliptically polarized beam of light, propagating int he z direction, passes through a perfect linear polarization analyzer. When the transmission axis of the analyzer is along the x direction, the transmitted intensity is maximum and has the value of 1.5 I[0]. When the transmission is along the y direction, the transmitted intensity is minimum and has the value of I[0].
    (a) What is the intensity when the transmission axis makes angle θwith the x-axis? Does your answer depend on what traction of the light is unpolarized?
    (b) The original beam is made to pass first through a quarter-wave plate and then through the linear polarization analyzer. The quarter-wave plate has its axes lined up with the x and y axes. It is now found that the maximum intensity is transmitted through the two devices when the analyzer transmission axis makes an angle of 30° witht the x-axis.
    Determine what is this maximum intensity is and determine the fraction of the incident intensity which is unpolarized.

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    first i found V and then used it to find fractional polarization then
    I= I[max]((1+pcos2phi)/(1+p))
    but i'm lost at b since i dont know how to apply quarter wave plate information to get teh I[max]
    Last edited: May 20, 2012
  2. jcsd
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