The three-polarizer paradox
I remember to have studied the three-polarizer paradox which has been described in the web atmany locations. I borrowed the figure from a fine tutorial with the following short description
:“If two polarizing films are aligned in the same direction light, from the first polarizer passes through the second. If the polarizers are opposed at a 90
angle, the polarized lighttransmitted from the first polarizer is absorbed by the second. If a third polarizer issandwiched between the two opposed polarizers at a 45
angle, some light gets through thelast polarizer. This is illustrated below using Dirac notation for both the photons and the polarizers.”The quantum physical model starts with light waves from unpolarized sources. This of course isvery unusual for microwave antennas. The polarization state of the photons in light waves fromunpolarized sources is unknown as it is explained in various web-papers
, which also explain whathappens according to the standard quantum theory:The model first suggests to remove
the h′ character of the photon by absorption
, but that is notimportant. In fact we will start by eliminating the first polarizer.
“When the v photon from the first vertical polarizer interacts with the middle polarizer oriented in the skewed-vertical direction the h′ character of the photon is removed byabsorption and only the v′ character passes the middle polarizer.
All three absorbers absorb photons. This idea should be replaced by another model in which energyis reflected to some other direction.
“As mentioned, each of the three polarizers absorbs photons. Half of the photons from thelight bulb are absorbed by the first vertical polarizer because we can consider theunpolarized light consisting of 50% photons in the v state, see eq 3.
“...“Half of the v photons are absorbed by the second diagonal polarizer.
3Matrix Mechanics Approach to Polarized Light – by Frank Rioux, St. John's University/College of St. Benedict4