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Wave Intensity

  1. Apr 18, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    At a beach the light is generally partially polarized due to reflections off sand and water. At a particular beach on a particular day near sundown, the horizontal component of the electric field vector is 1.8 times the vertical component. A standing sunbather puts on polarizing sunglasses; the glasses eliminate the horizontal field component. (a) What fraction of the light intensity received before the glasses were put on now reaches the sunbather's eyes? (b) The sunbather, still wearing the glasses, lies on his side. What fraction of the light intensity received before the glasses were put on now reaches his eyes?

    I'm really confused and I'm sure I am thinking too hard. Can anyone get me started?

    I know there is an equation
    I = (I not)(cos squared theta)

    2. Relevant equations



    3. The attempt at a solution
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 18, 2010 #2
    Use the Pythagorean theorem to add the component Intensities and find the angle and magnitude of the total intensity. Then find the angle between the intensity vector and the sunglasses. Then use Malus' Law.

    Same applies for part b) with just a slight twist.
     
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