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Quantum Law of Malus

  1. Nov 27, 2009 #1
    I am looking for a book, article or online source which gives a quantum derivation of the Law of Malus or an analysis of the interaction of photons with a birefringent crystal.

    Thanks, Skippy
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 2, 2009 #2
    I am going to give my thread one bump. (Hope that doesn't violate any rules.) Here is why I am interested:

    Most experimental ivestigations of violations of the Bell or Leggett inequalities use photon polarization and are based, in part, on the Law of Malus which is presumed to follow from standard QM. While I harbor no doubts about the Law of Malus being a consequence of standard QM, I would really like to see it done. I am guessing it might require some techniques from Solid State Physics or perhaps S-Matrix theory.

    Any leads? Skippy

    PS I am not really interested in plausibility arguments or hand-waving. I have already found those.
  4. Dec 3, 2009 #3


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    The simplest model of light polarization as I see is explained using wire-grid polarizer. Do not know if it's "quantum" enough for you. I guess not.
    In crystals it's probably the effect that there are resonant directions for quasiparticles that absorb photon energy. Something in the fashion of Brillouin scattering.

    I guess it's poor answer but maybe someone more knowledgeable will add something.
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