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Mathematical descriptions of opacity

  1. Aug 17, 2015 #1
    it is mentioned above that "in non attenuating media, the refractive index and angular wavenumber are related by:
    A complex refractive index can therefore be defined in terms of the complex angular wavenumber defined above:

    where n is the refractive index of the medium."
    Is it right to say that some mediums are attenuating and some non attenuating? and we use bd8c0089cfae6165ed1a32b96f65eaa5.png for non attenuating mediums and 46a6d845fa2e547d5ee234bd2aa87129.png for attenuating mediums?
    or non attenuating situations is just an approximation and all media are attenuating?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 17, 2015 #2
    All media are attenuating and non attenuating media are just an approximation.
    The refractive index is frequency dependent and a media may strongly attenuate in a frequency range and slightly attenuate in other range. Moreover, the (complex) refractive index may depend in general on all parameters of the beam: the intensity, polarization or propagation direction.
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