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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

Jeffrey Bokor, 2000, all rights reserved

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
[Optional reading: Hecht 4.6]
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

Jeffrey Bokor, 2000, all rights reserved

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

. This angle is known as Brewsters angle or

the Polarizing angle.


Polarization
Reading Assignment: Hecht 8.1, 8.2]
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

Jeffrey Bokor, 2000, all rights reserved

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
[Reading assignment: Hecht, 5.5. See also Smith Ch. 4]
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

Jeffrey Bokor, 2000, all rights reserved

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

Jeffrey Bokor, 2000, all rights reserved