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S vs P polarization

  1. Apr 29, 2010 #1
    Let us imagine a surface, with X and Y axes on it and Z axis normal to it.
    well, the theory, (in my particular case, some article) says that S polarized light, propagating along the x-directioin possesses only electric field components, Ei, paralel to the surface (||y-direction), i.e. transversal electric waves have Ei=(0, Ey, 0), while P-polarized light has Ei=(Ex, 0, Ez).

    The question:

    I understand that S-polarized light, propagating along x-direction has only electric field components, Ei, paralel to the surface. Ei=(0, Ey, 0), since in case of s-polarization E is perpendicular to plane of incidence.

    Also I understand that P-polarized light, propagating in the same x-direction has Ez component, since in case of P-polarization E is in the plane of incidence.


    what I do not understand is, why p-polarized light has Ex component.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 29, 2010 #2

    Andy Resnick

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  4. Apr 29, 2010 #3
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  5. Apr 30, 2010 #4

    Andy Resnick

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    Do you see the essential difference between s- and p- polarization? It's not the (x,y,z) components per se, it's whether or not the electric field is in the plane of incidence.
     
  6. Apr 30, 2010 #5
    Essential difference I see perfectly. what I need is to describe this difference in terms of Ex, Ey and Ez.

    Anyway, now I understand it, thanks for picture ;)
     
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