# Elliptically polarized light incident at Brewster's angle

• Alex Pedersen
In summary, when elliptically polarized light strikes a glass surface at Brewster's angle, the reflected ray will be linearly polarized. This remains true even if the glass surface is fully submerged in water. However, if the glass surface is only partially submerged, the Brewster angle will change due to the different ratio of refraction indices between the medium and glass. To achieve a linearly polarized reflected ray, the glass surface should be submerged in a medium with a lower refraction index, resulting in a smaller Brewster angle.
Alex Pedersen
Elliptically polarized light strikes a glass surface (in air) with refraction index n at Brewster's angle.
What is the polarization of the reflected ray?
How does it change if now the glass surface is partially submerged in water?
And if the glass surface is fully submerged in water?
How would you proceed for the reflected ray to be linearly polarized?

## The Attempt at a Solution

: [/B]If I understand correctly, when light strikes a glass surface at Brewster's angle, regardless of polarization, the reflected ray will be linearly polarized. And this doesn't change if the surface is fully submerged in whatever medium. But I'm not sure what happens when the surface is partially submerged.

Brewster angle is dependent on the ratio of the refraction indices of medium and glass.
tan(θp) = n2/n1
Therefore, submerging glass into water produce different (smaller) Brewster angle.

Alex Pedersen

## 1. What is elliptically polarized light?

Elliptically polarized light is a type of light in which the electric field oscillates in an elliptical pattern. This means that the light is a combination of two perpendicular linear polarizations with different amplitudes and phases.

## 2. What is Brewster's angle?

Brewster's angle is the angle of incidence at which light of a specific polarization, known as the p-polarization, will not be reflected off of a surface, but instead will be fully transmitted. This angle is dependent on the refractive indices of the two materials at the interface.

## 3. How is elliptically polarized light affected by Brewster's angle?

When elliptically polarized light is incident at Brewster's angle, the p-polarized component of the light will be fully transmitted while the s-polarized component will be fully reflected. This results in the transmitted light being more linearly polarized in the p-polarization direction.

## 4. What is the significance of Brewster's angle?

Brewster's angle has several practical applications, such as in reducing glare from reflective surfaces like water, glass, or metal. It is also used in polarizing filters to block out unwanted reflections and enhance contrast in photography and other optical devices.

## 5. How is Brewster's angle calculated?

Brewster's angle can be calculated using Snell's law, which relates the angle of incidence and angle of refraction at a boundary between two materials with different refractive indices. Specifically, the tangent of Brewster's angle is equal to the ratio of the two refractive indices at the interface.

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