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Wavelength/frequency & it's effect on optical properties

  1. Jul 7, 2005 #1


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    Hello everyone, I'm not sure if this is in the correct topic, so please move to a correct one if need be.

    Are there any mathematical relationships between the wavelength or frequency of an electromagnetic ray and the optical properties of a material?

    By optical properties, I mean the scattering coefficient ([itex]\mu_s[/itex]), absorption coefficient ([itex]\mu_a[/itex]), and anisotropy factor (g).

    i.e. [tex]f(\lambda or f) = stuff and \mu_s[/tex], etc.

    Preferably, there would be only one equation, which governs all types of emr's and materials, but I don't know if there is such thing.

    If not, literature pointing to similar things would be great too!

  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 8, 2005 #2


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    Neither is there one equation for all types of materials nor usually, for all frequencies.

    The response to an EM field is different in gases, solid dielectrics and metals (not to say anything about glasses, molecular solids, liquid crystals, plasmas, etc.) And even for a metal, the low frequency behavior is quite different from the high frequency limit. This is not to say that there isn't a single underlying property that is at the root of this. There is - it is the dielectric constant, [itex]\epsilon(\omega)[/itex].

    As to literature, here are a couple that come to mind :

    Classical Electrodynamics, Jackson
    Feynman's Lectures (-Vol. 2, I think), Feynman, Leighton, Sands
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2005
  4. Jul 9, 2005 #3


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    ah, thanks Gokul43201!

    I was getting the idea that there is no underlying equation, because the papers I've read dealt with different materials, and also had different equations to find out such coefficients.

    I will check out the Feynman Lecture as you suggested.

  5. Jul 26, 2005 #4
    Some engineering texts on this will be helpful. Try this. It's graduate level but
    gets down to brass tacks quickly.

    http://www.elx.com.au/item/0471621943 [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  6. Aug 31, 2005 #5
    THis is a good book too - "Electrodynamics of solids" - Dressel & Gruner, Camb. Univ. Press
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