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Polarized light and refraction

  1. Dec 10, 2012 #1
    polarized light and refraction!!!

    Hi guys

    I need to discuss the polarized light in the waveguide and its refraction at an interface between two different media.
    if the light is polarized like in the picture(see attached) and oscillating only up and down (linear polarization), then does the light will be refracted at the interface or not?

    my idea is that although the interface is tilted, the angle between electric field and the interface is normal, then no refraction.

    I will appreciate if somebody is interested in this problem.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 10, 2012 #2


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    Re: polarized light and refraction!!!

    I don't believe the polarization affects whether or not it refracts at the surface. However it can do things if you have a birefringent material.

  4. Dec 11, 2012 #3


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    Science Advisor

    Re: polarized light and refraction!!!

    The light will be refracted and the angle is given by Snells law independent on it's polarization (as long as the material is not birefringent). Polarization only affects the ratio of light being reflected/ transmitted.
  5. Dec 11, 2012 #4
    Re: polarized light and refraction!!!

    just apply the condition of continuity of normal component of D and continuity of tangential component of E across the interface.see if it does give rise to any refraction amplitude.
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