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Homework Help: Unpolarized light and Polarizers

  1. Mar 24, 2009 #1
    Unpolarized light propagating along the x-axis from the left in the image above encounters two polarizing filters in a row. The first filter is oriented with its polarization axis at θ1 = 80 degrees from the y-axis, and the second is oriented with its polarization axis at θ2 = 65 degrees from the y-axis. What is the final intensity of the light as a fraction of the original (pre-filter) intensity?

    Ive tried doing this problem in every conceivable way possible and I cant get it right.

    Please help! I know you have to use a variation of I2=I0*cos^2(theta1) *cos^2(theta2-theta1), but this isnt correct, so what am I doing wrong?

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 24, 2009 #2


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    Since the light is initially unpolarized, what is the effect of the first polarizer?
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