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When a beam of light is passed through a polarizer, it is polarized in

  1. Apr 26, 2006 #1
    When a beam of light is passed through a polarizer, it is polarized in a certain direction, say the x-direction. So, the irradiance or the energy of the initial beam is now reduced. The y-direction electric field could not pass through.
    So, where has the y-direction electric field gone, which carries some of the energy of the initial beam?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 26, 2006 #2

    DaveC426913

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    Am I oversimplifying? Or are you asking what happens to the energy that doesn't make it through the filter?

    It gets absorbed by the filter itself - as heat.
     
  4. Apr 26, 2006 #3

    Claude Bile

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    Depends what the polariser is. Polaroids absorb the non-transmitted components, whereas beam splitters for example will transmit one and reflect the other.

    Claude.
     
  5. Apr 27, 2006 #4

    DaveC426913

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    But he's asking about light passing through polarizers.
     
  6. Apr 27, 2006 #5

    Claude Bile

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    I took polariser to mean polarising devices in general, but upon reflection it occured to me the OP may just be referring to polaroids.

    Claude.
     
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