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Reflected light from a polarizer

  1. Feb 1, 2012 #1
    Hi Folks,

    I have a general question. What happens to unpolarized light once it's reflected from a polarizer?

    My best guess is that it's polarized with opposite parity relative to the transmitted light with intensity varying as a function of angle of incidence.

    I think my answer applies to any polarizer (linear or circular). If you have a reference that addresses effects upon reflection from a polarizer, I'd be glad to read more. Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 1, 2012 #2

    Andy Resnick

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    There are different kinds of polarizers: for example, a Glan-Thomspon prism transmits the orthogonal states in different directions. Polaroid (IIRC) absorbs one component.
  4. Feb 1, 2012 #3
    I'm sorry, I did not mention I'm assuming a sheet polarizer. However, I guess it doesn't matter too much. I'm just curious about how different the reflected component would be from the transmitted counterpart (in a general sense).
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