Revisiting the Three-Polarizer Paradox

J. Richter

Fig.1: One of the towers at the AEG-Telefunken antenna-lab, southern Germany
public domain-photogtraph by Martin Hofer. Original uploader was Rüssel0815 at de.wikipedia

In 1972 I started working as an electronic engineer in the Telefunken antenna laboratories at Allmersbach/Tal. In antenna theory – ruled by the work of Samuel Silver 1 – we ignored any kind of quantum physics. As far as I remember Silver never needed quantum models. Those days our problems were side-lobes, reflections and of course cross-polarization 2. Crosspolarization was the worst enemy for antenna designs. Those days the customer (the German Post Office) needed a two channel communication for which the horizontal and vertical polarization was used. Those days poor cross-polarization characteristics were quite uncommon. The specialists knew how to avoid the asymmetries.

1 Microwave Antenna Theory and Design - Samuel Silver (1949) 2 Reflector Antennas Revisited

Benedict Polarized Light and Quantum Mechanics: Polarized Light and Quantum Mechanics: Polarized Light and Quantum Mechanics: Polarized Light and Quantum Mechanics: . If a third polarizer is sandwiched between the two opposed polarizers at a 45o angle. This is illustrated below using Dirac notation for both the photons and the polarizers. I borrowed the figure from a fine tutorial with the following short description3: “If two polarizing films are aligned in the same direction light. but that is not important. which also explain what happens according to the standard quantum theory: The model first suggests to remove the h′ character of the photon by absorption. Half of the photons from the light bulb are absorbed by the first vertical polarizer because we can consider the unpolarized light consisting of 50% photons in the v state. each of the three polarizers absorbs photons. see eq 3. This of course is very unusual for microwave antennas...” Fig. “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 by absorption and only the v′ character passes the middle polarizer. from the first polarizer passes through the second. 2: Three-polarizer Paradox setup The quantum physical model starts with light waves from unpolarized sources. 7“ . “As mentioned. This idea should be replaced by another model in which energy is reflected to some other direction. John's University/College of St. 3 4 5 6 7 Matrix Mechanics Approach to Polarized Light – by Frank Rioux. the polarized light transmitted from the first polarizer is absorbed by the second. “Half of the v photons are absorbed by the second diagonal polarizer.. 5“ All three absorbers absorb photons.. 6“ . some light gets through the last polarizer.The three-polarizer paradox I remember to have studied the three-polarizer paradox which has been described in the web at many locations. The polarization state of the photons in light waves from unpolarized sources is unknown as it is explained in various web-papers 4. If the polarizers are opposed at a 90 o angle. In fact we will start by eliminating the first polarizer. St.

“Finally. 8 Polarized Light and Quantum Mechanics: .8” So each inserted polarizer halves the energy. which will now be discussed in detail.(or to be more precise the Two-) polarizer Paradox setup. half of the v′ photons passing the middle polarizer are absorbed by the third horizontal polarizer because the probability that a v′ photon will be found in the h state passing through the third polarizer is sin2 (45°) = ½. Without the first polarizer the receiver horn receives ¼ of the input energy in the Three.

Now 50% of the incoming wave's energy will induce a current in the metallic stripes. The polarizers are simple breadboards with copper stripes. These currents will be causing a reflecting of electromagnetic energy back towards the transmitter14: 9 Fundamentals of the wave theory have been presented in Feynman's lecture . In the demonstration it is explained that the phenomenon can not be adequately explained by classical physics. 11 “with a 45°-degree orientation” 12 In fact this polarizer may also be eliminated in an ideal setup. which are not needed for the mechanisms. 14 The energy may even be bundled to have a small gain over the isotropic level. The following documentation will simplify the text by removing all comments and details into footnotes. I wasn't convinced that this was true and setup a proof for this particular microwave model without quantum physics.The Vega Science Trust . which was considered to be a functioning model for wave-functions without quantum physics9. For symmetrical reasons 50% of the energy will be passed by this diagonal polarizer and the other 50% will be converted to currents in the metallic structure13. Unfortunately however I do not have the time to validate the idea and that's why it is written down for later generations to dig up the solutions and fill up the gaps in the concepts. Let us assume the energy of the arriving wave is A (Watt). I am fully aware that the theoretical models should be confirmed by tests. The microwave setup The link consists of the horn antennas at approximately 30-40 GHz10. The central diagonal11 polarizer is placed between the transmitter feed and the third polarizer. which (hopefully) may be approximated as a plane wave. which is horizontally polarized12. and I remember how often I derived some electronic circuit which behaved differently from what I had been conceived. In a web-presentation there is a short demonstration of the microwave model of the three-polarizer paradox: Polarization of Light and Microwaves (Quantum Physics). 13 This of course requires to use an ideal grid of very thin metallic conductors. but of course there may also be some . The antenna theory The diagonal polarizer The plane wave coming from the transmitter antenna hits the diagonal 45°-polarizer.Richard Feynman Video 10 The wavelength may be estimated from the wavepipe's dimensions. In the end all designs should be checked for their validity. The receiver antenna itself is already horizontally polarized and should not respond to vertically polarized waves. The first polarizer grid is not needed as the transmitter feed produces a genuine vertically polarized wave. No dissipation is to be assumed in the system and no absorption of energy will occur. In the final setup the transmitter antenna is vertically polarized and the receiver horizontally polarized.A microwave model without quantum physics I remember to have derived a microwave model.

Then we insert the polarizers and check for the expected level of the received power ¼ A. which may interfere with the directly passed waves.• • 50% of the incoming wave's energy is reflected/re-radiated towards the transmitter15. . where again the energy will be split up in components as it has been described in the previous section of the diagonal polarizer. 15 Ideally this energy may be dissipated in an isolator between the feed horn and the klystron. It would be easy to calibrate the setup of the microwave link for the standard power balance without any polarizers. In a quantum physic's model ¾ of the energy A is lost by absorption. If the received power is considerably higher than ¼ of the energy A we might expect this additional energy to be re-radiated power components. losses. From symmetry we may assume that: • • 50% of the incoming wave's energy is reflected in the direction of the diagonal polarizer where some of it may be reflected at the grid. Although this might also be practiced in a microwave model by using absorbing materials we would not be able to observe any difference between the quantum physic's model and the microwave model without quantum physics. which may add or subtract some energy to respectively from the main wave. Normally this main wave is ¼ of the energy A. The receiver Horn The reflected components may be generated with unknown phases. The reflected components may prove that the 50%-50% distribution of both polarizations is a unique quantum physic property which will be missing in the microwave model. 16 This of course requires to use an ideal grid of very thin metallic conductors. The receiver horn therefore receives ¼ of the energy A. The re-radiated energy is polarized in parallel of the metallic stripes of the diagonal polarizer grid. Let us assume the gain of the re-radiating structures is 0dB. Now the receiver horn as well receives some of the reflected components. This is the level which is to be expected if the polarizers absorb the relevant energy components of the quantum model. 50% will be passed by the horizontal polarizer as horizontally polarized waves in the direction of the receiver horn. We may call this the main component of the arriving wave. For symmetrical reasons 50% of the energy of these components will be passed as horizontally polarized waves by this horizontal polarizer and the other 50% will be converted to currents in the metallic structure16 and result in vertically polarized waves. No dissipation is to be assumed in the system and no absorption of energy will occur. which for some frequencies might add up to a significant raise of the power balance. The horizontal polarizer 50% of the emitted energy A will now hit the horizontal polarizer. 50% will be passed by the diagonal polarizer in the direction of the horizontal polarizer and the receiver horn. which is exactly the amount we have found in the quantum physic's model. The received power level is calibrated to A. This would deliver some additional power. The passed by radiation is perpendicular to the re-radiated vectors.

Superfluous Energy In fact the re-radiated energy cannot have been absorbed and must be showing up somewhere. 18 Microwave Antenna Theory and Design .Samuel Silver . In contrast to the quantum mechanics model however the energy level at the receiver may be higher or lower depending on the energy which is re-radiated by the polarizers. 17 Without an isolator these reflections might interfere with the microwave source or even contribute to another reradiated energy. The 50%-energy with returns to the transmitter's feed horn may be absorbed in an isolator which usually is mounted between the microwave source (klystron. There is no control of the phases and somehow it will be compensated in other field components or end up at the receiver along with the main wave. These reflected elements do not depend on statistics but on geometrical dimensions and will be reproducibly constant in time for specific frequencies. In a microwave-model this calculated power balance also results in a median value of ¼ of the input energy.) and the feed horn17. Gunn diode. The 50%-energy which returns from the horizontal polarizer to the diagonal polarizer may be bouncing several times between both horn antennas. etc. Summary In a quantum physics model of the three-polarizer paradox the receiver horn receives exactly ¼ of the input energy in the setup of the web-experiment Polarization of Light and Microwaves (Quantum Physics). A setup with accurate power level measurements would be able to prove whether the microwave setup depends on quantum physics or may be considered a normal geometrical antenna design according to the works of Samuel Silver18.

.........4 The diagonal polarizer................................................................4 The microwave setup.................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................5 Superfluous Energy..........................................................................................................................................................................6 Summary..................................4 The horizontal polarizer................................................6 ................Contents The three-polarizer paradox..........................................................................................................................................................................5 The receiver Horn................................................................................................2 A microwave model without quantum physics..............4 The antenna theory.............................................................................................................................................