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# Lecture 2

Lecture 2
Reflection and Refraction, Snells Law
[Reading assignment: Hecht 4.3, 4.4, 4.7]
An important element of optics is the interface between 2 materials with different index of refraction
1

reflected ray

n1
n2
2

refracted ray

n 1 sin 1 = n 2 sin 2
n
sin
if n 2 n 1
------------1- = ----2-
sin 2
n1
if n 1 n 2

2 1
2 1

Total Reflection
If n 1 n 2 , then we can have
1

2 = 90
n2
sin c = ----n1
2 = 90

c = sin n 2 n 1

The refracted ray disappears! The light is totally reflected. This usually occurs inside a prism , and is
called total internal reflection. c = critical angle. For a typical glass with n = 1.5 , the critical angle
is:
1 1
sin ------- = 41.8
1.5

Lecture 2

So for = 45 , the light is reflected. A very common prism is the right angle prism

45

90

45

## Light Impinging at a Surface

The plane containing the light ray propagation vector and the surface normal is called the plane of incidence
E 1p
n1

n2

E 1s

E 1p

normal

E 1s

E 2p

E 2s

p-polarization
(parallel to plane of incidence)

s-polarization

For a general polarization state incident on a surface, we choose s and p directions to decompose the

polarization effects.
Fresnel Reflection Coefficients
The magnitude of reflection and transmission at an interface between n 1 and n 2 are given by
2

4sin 2 cos 1
n 2 cos 2
T p = -------------------- -----------------------------------------------------------------n 1 cos 1 sin 2 + cos 2
1
2
1
2

## n 2 cos 2 4sin 2 cos 1

T s = -------------------- -----------------------------------n 1 cos 1 sin 2 +
1
2

tan 2 1
R p = --------------------------------2
tan 2 + 1
sin 2 1
R s = -------------------------------2
sin 2 + 1

Lecture 2

near 1 = 0

2
n 2 n1
R s = R p = ----------------- . For n = 1.5 R 4%
n 2 + n 1

Notice also, if

## 2 + 1 = --- , then tan , and R p 0 .

2
1 can be shown to be given by

n2
tan 1 = ----n1

## the Polarizing angle.

Polarization
Light waves have transverse polarization
The electric field vector points in a direction perpendicular to the propagation direction (ray direction).
The magnetic field vector is orthogonal to propagation direction. Generally, we can ignore the magnetic field.
The e-field vector can lie anywhere in transverse plane
Polarization State
The e-field oscillates in time at a given point in space
For light wave propagating in z-direction, lets look in the x-y plane.
y

E
x

E
linear polarization
y-direction

left circular
polarization

linear polarization
x-direction

y
E

right circular
polarization

elliptical
polarization

unpolarized
(polarization-vector)
fluctuates randomly

Lecture 2

Ex

Ey

Linear, 45

Circular

## Polarizers are devices which select one polarization

Polarizing sheet has an allowed direction
transmits polarization component of incident light along the allowed direction
transmitted light is linearly polarized
polarizing beamsplitter

## (can be used to analyze input

polarization state)
general

p-component

polarization
s-component

Prisms
Dispersing prism
Lets calculate the total deviation angle, .

1 2
index n
air n 1

## Deviation at first surface is 1 1 .

At second surface, deviation is 2 2

Total deviation is = 1 1 + ( 2 2 )

Notice that
4

Lecture 2

A = --- 1
2

B = --- 2
2

but A + B + = so 2 = 1 , then
= 1 1 + 2 + 1 = 1 + 2

1
also sin 1 = --- sin 1 , and sin 2 = nsin 2 . Now, writing in terms of 1 and n :

= 1 + sin n sin 2
1

sin n sin 1

## Use sin 1 = sin cos 1 cos sin 1 , cos 1 = 1 ----2- sin 2 1

1

= 1 + sin

12

1
, and sin 1 = --- sin 1 . Then
n

12
2
1
n sin 1 ----- sin 1
cos sin 1

2
n

## = 1 + sin sin n sin 1

12

cos sin 1

his formula shows that the deviation increases with increasing index n . For most materials
n increases with decreasing This is the basis for the splitting of white light into colors by the prism.

white
light

red
yellow
green
blue