Scattering from lossy medium whose refractive index is unity

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

Consider a thin transparent plate surrounded by air. The plate's refractive index is exactly the same as the air's, but it does have a small loss (say of the order of 1%).

Let the plate be vertical and normal to our "page" or your computer screen. A laser beam passes through the plate at an acute angle such as 5 degrees, say from the lower right to the upper left.

Now is there any mechanism in this system by which some of the light would be scattered towards the upper right? (FWIW, I arrived at this conjecture while following some train of thought that probably wouldn't interest anyone here).

If there is such a process, where can I read more about it? Does it have a name? Would the scattered energy form a beam similar in width to the incident one?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
DrDu
Science Advisor
6,023
755
For an absorptive material, the index of refraction becomes a complex quantity. Nevertheless it won't lead to scattering out of the plane defined by the normal to the surface and the incidence vector.
 
  • #3
Thank you!
In my post, the question is about scattering within (consistent with) the constraint that you specified, but in a direction that is still counter intuitive. The direction I am asking about is similar to total internal reflection but with refractive index being the same as air.

You note that absorption is included in a complex coefficient -- so if I understand correctly, the loss component can result in refraction-like bending?
 
  • #4
DrDu
Science Advisor
6,023
755
You note that absorption is included in a complex coefficient -- so if I understand correctly, the loss component can result in refraction-like bending?
Yes
 

Related Threads on Scattering from lossy medium whose refractive index is unity

Replies
7
Views
1K
Replies
25
Views
12K
Replies
20
Views
7K
Replies
2
Views
13K
Replies
1
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
13
Views
9K
Top