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, Electromagnetic

Fields and Waves, Waveland Press, Prospect Heights, IL, 1992, ISBN: 1-57766-115-X.

Edminister, J., Electromagnetics (Schaums Outline), McGraw-Hill, New York, NY,

1993, ISBN: 0-07-018993-5. Hecht, E., Optics (Schaums Outlines), McGraw-Hill, New

York, NY, ISBN: 0-07-027730-3. Serway, R., & Faughn, J., College Physics, ISBN: 003-022952-9.

Chapter 6

Oblique Incidence Plane Wave Reflection and Transmission

6.1 Plane Wave Propagation at Arbitrary Angle

Plane waves are not normally incident, so now we must consider the general problem of a

plane wave propagating along a specified axis that is arbitrarily relative to a rectangular

coordinate system. The most convenient way is in terms of the direction cosines of the

uniform plane wave, the equiphase surfaces are planes perpendicular to the direction of

propagation.

Definitions:

uniform planes a free space plane wave at an infinite distance from the

generator, having constant amplitude electric and magnetic field vectors over the

equiphase surfaces.

equiphase surface any surface in a wave over which the field vectors of a

particular instant have either 0 or 180 phase difference.

For a plane wave propagating along the +z axis

( z ) m e j z a x

(6.1)

Equation (6.1) states that each z equal to a constant plane will represent an equiphase

surface with no spatial variation in the electric or magnetic fields. In other words,

0

x

y

It will be necessary to replace z for a plane wave traveling in an arbitrary direction with

an expression when put equal to a constant (z = constant), that will result in equiphase

surfaces.

The equation of an equiphase plane is given by

r n r

The radial vector (r) from the origin to any point on the plane, and is the vector normal

to the plane is shown in Figure (6.1).

z

P

n

M

z

y

O

x

r

y

W

As you can see from figure 6.1, the plane perpendicular to the vector is seen from its

side appearing as a line P-W. The dot product n r is the projection of the radial vector r

along the normal to the plane and will have the constant value OM for all points on the

plane. The equation r = constant is the characteristic property of a plane

perpendicular to the direction of propagation .

The equiphase equation is

r = xx + yy + zz

= (cos xx + cos yy + cos zz)

= constant

r=

x a x y a y z az

x a x y a y z az

x, y, z, are the angles the vector makes with x, y, and z axes, respectively.

Definition:

transverse electromagnetic wave (TEM) electromagnetic wave having electric

field vectors and magnetic field vectors perpendicular to the direction of propagation.

H is perpendicular to E, and both E and H are perpendicular to the direction of

m e j r

(6.2)

The unit vector n along and is the wave impedance in the propagation medium. See

Figure 6.2 for the illustration of orthogonal relations between and and the direction

of propagation.

Z

Plane of constant

phase

E

p=PxH

power density flow

n

r

Point on the

plane

EXAMPLE 6.1

The vector amplitude of an electric field associated with a plane wave that propagates in

the negative z direction in free space is given by

m 2 a x 3 a y V

Solution:

The direction of propagation n is az. The vector amplitude of the magnetic field is then

given by

*note

ax a y az

1

1

0 0 1

3 a x 2 a y A m

377

2 3 0

EXAMPLE 6.2

The phasor electric field expression in a phase is given by

a

a 2 j5 a e j 2.3( 0.6 x 0.8 y )

x

z

y y

1. y .

2. Vector magnetic field, assuming and .

3. Frequency and wavelength of this wave.

4. Equation of surface of constant phase.

Solution:

1. The general expression for a uniform plane wave propagating in an arbitrary

direction is given by

m e j r

directions. Comparing equation 6.3 with the general field equation for the plane

wave propagating in an arbitrary direction, we obtain

r = xx + yy + zz

= (cos xx + cos yy + cos zz)

= 2.3(-0.6x + 0.8y + 0)

n = -0.6ax + 0.8ay.

must satisfy the following relations:

=0

n

Or

a x y a y 2 j5 a z 0

-0.6 + 0.8 y = 0

= 0.75. The electric field is given by

Hence,

a

a 2 j5 a e j 2.3( 0.6 x 0.8 y )

x

z

y y

2.

ax

1

1

n

0.6

377

1

ay

0.8

0.75

az

0

2 j5

so that

0.8( 2 j5) 4.24 j10.6 10 3

x

377

0.6( 2 j5)

318

. j 7.95 10 3

377

z

377

a

a

a

x x

y y

z z

2

2

2.73 m

2.3

f

4.

c 3 108

0.11 GHz

2.73

n r = -0.6x + 0.8y = constant

The general expression of this equation in terms of the direction cosines is given

by

n r = (cos xx + cos yy + cos zz) = constant

Comparison between equation 6.4 and the general expression shows that the plane

given in equation 6.4 has no z dependence and, hence defines a plane parallel to

the z axis. In other words, equation 6.4 can be obtained by substituting x = /2 in

the general expression of the equiphase plane.

By decomposing the general problem into two special cases we can simplify our analysis.

1. E field is polarized in the plane formed by the normal to the reflecting surface in the

direction i of the incident wave.

2. E field is perpendicular to the plane of incidence.

The plane formed by the normal to the reflecting surface and the direction of propagation

is known as the plane of incidence. The general case can be considered as a

superposition of two cases

E is perpendicular to the plane of incidence

Notes by: Debbie Prestridge

X

Y

Perfect

Conductor

Z

The figure shows an incident wave polarized with the E field in the plane of incidence

and the power flow in the direction of i at angle i with respect to the normal to the

surface of the perfect conductor.

The direction of propagation is given by the Poynting vector and the i , E, and H fields

need to be arranged so that i is in the same direction as i i at any time. The

a

magnetic field is out of the plane of the paper,

y y for the direction of the electric

field shown. There is no transmitted field within the perfect conductor; however there

will be a reflected field with power flow at the angle r with respect to the normal to the

interface. To maintain the power density flow r r will be in the same direction r

as. The expression for the total electric field in free space is

i r im e j i r rm e j r r

i r cos i a z sin i a x x a x y a y z a z

(6.5)

x sin i z cos i

(6.6)

r r x sin r z cos r

(6.7)

j r

x x , z im cos i e j i r rm cos r e r

j r

z x , z im sin i e j i r rm sin r e r

x

at z 0

im cos i e j i r rm cos r e

j r r

jxsin r

im cos i e jx sin i rm cos r e

0

(6.8)

Equation 6.8 shows the relationship between the incident and reflected amplitudes for a

perfect conductor the total tangential E field at the surface must be zero which satisfies

the boundary condition. To be zero at all values of x along the surface of the conducting

plane, the phase terms must be equal to each other

i r

(6.9)

Definition:

Snells Law is a rule of Physics that applies to visible light passing from air (or

vacuum) to some medium with an index of refraction different from air.

Substitute equation 6.9 into equation 6.8

im rm

(6.10)

( x , z ) x x , z a x z x , z a z

im sin i e jx sin i

e j z cos i e j z cosi a z

jx sin i

2 j im cos i sin ( z cos i )e

ax

(6.11)

Take equation 6.11 and recover the time-domain form of the total electric field

r e j t

r , t Re

Observe the variation of the total field with the x variable indicating there is a traveling

wave in the x direction with a phase constant

x sin i

And in the z direction the field forms a standing wave.

The total magnetic field is

x, z

x, z a

i x, z a

r x, z a

y

y

y

y

y

y

n

i i i

ax

sin i

ay

0

az

cos i

i sin e j (sin i x cos i z

i

m

m

ii

i is the ay component

The solution of the determinant, the only nonzero component of

given by

1

i a y im cos2 i e j sin i x cos i z im sin2 i e j sin i x cos i z

im j sin x cos z

i

i ay

e

i

r m e j sin i x cos i z a

i

( x , z ) a 2 m cos z cos e jx sin i

y

i

ave x , z

Re

2

ax

1

Re

x

2

0

ay

0

az

z

y 0

One in the x direction

One in the z direction

ave

1

Re z y a x x y a z

2

ave x , z

i

2

m

1

a

Re z

x

y

2

Glancing Incident:

i 90 , ave

i 2

2

m

ax ,

10

Normal Incident:

i 0, x , ave 0 (Power flow in the x direction is zero)

Average power flow perpendicular to the conducting surface is zero, because the average

Poynting Vector is zero in that direction

1

Re x y 0

2

and

x

y are out of phase by 90.

P z , ave

Therefore, a traveling-wave pattern occurs in the x direction, because the incident and

reflected waves travel in the same direction, the standing-wave pattern will be observed

in the z direction, because the incident and reflected waves travel in the opposite

directions.

The location of zeros (nodes) of the x field can be found by letting sin z cos i

At a distance z from the conducting plane given by

= 0.

z cos i n

Or

z = n 2 cos

i

n 0, 1, 2 ,...

The zeros will occur at distances larger than integer multiples of 2 . So, for normal

incidence, i 0, cos i 1 , and the positions of the zeros will are the same as those

discussed in chapter 5. For the oblique incidence, the locations of the standing-wave

nodes are 2 apart along the direction of propagation. The wavelength measured along

the z-axis is greater than the wavelength of the incident waves along the direction of

propagation. As shown in Figure 6.4 the relation between these wavelengths is

z

.

cos i

11

Incident wave

fronts

z

cos i

i

Figure 6.4

The plane of the zero x field occur at multiples of 2 along the direction of

propagation, and they are located at integer multiples of z 2 along the z-axis which

appear separated by larger distances. Also note that the standing-wave pattern associated

with the z component may appear as if there is no zero value of the electric field at

z = 0, but the z component is normal to the reflecting surface, therefore the boundary

condition is not in violation.

6.2.2 Electric Field Normal to the Plane of Incidence

The entire electric field is (out of the paper) in the y direction and the magnetic field will

have both x and z components. See Figure 6.5.

The incident electric and magnetic fields are

i im e j i r

n i i

i

m cos i a x sin i a z e j i r

12

i r

ax

Y

Perfect

Conductor

az

Figure 6.5

where i r sin i x cosi z . Assume that the reflected field is also in the y direction

so the magnetic field must be perpendicular to both E and the Poynting Vector P = E ^ H,

r rm e j r r a y

n r r rm

cos r a x sin r a z e j r r

amplitude of the reflected electric field rm by using the boundary conditions at z = 0.

This also includes zero values of the tangential electrical field E and the normal

component of the magnetic field H.

x, z

i

r 0 at

y

y

y

z=0

Therefore,

y x ,0 im e j x sin i rm e j x sin r 0

And

13

z

m

i

m

i

r

Note: These two conditions will provide the same results for the unknowns r and

m

, and be true for every value of x along z = 0 plane, so the phase factors must be equal.

r i

And

r

i

m

m

Negative sign indicates the opposite direction of the reflected electric field (i.e. into the

paper)

The total E field is

z cos i e j x sin i

2 j im sin

n i

n i

i r

a y im e j i r

a y im e j i r

And the substitution of rm im has been made. The direction vectors of the incident

and reflective wave are

n i, r sin i a x cos i a z

And

n i, r a y sin i a z cos i a x

i

x , z 2 m cos cos z cos e jx sin i

x

i

i

i

x , z 2 j m sin sin z cos e jx sin i

i

i

z

14

There is a standing-wave in the z direction because the reflected and incident waves

travel in the opposite direction along the z-axis. The fields traveling in the x direction

and having the only nonzero power flow in the direction parallel to the interface.

The concept can be illustrated by considering the average density flow associated with

the wave.

ave x , z

1

Re

2

ax

1

Re 0

2

S

i

2

m

ay

T

az

0

in the x direction.

S

2 im

i

j x sini

cos i cos z cos i e j x sin i , T 2 m sin z cos i e

,

2 im

sin i sin z cosi e j x sin i

EXAMPLES:

Find the peak value of an induced surface current when a plane wave is incident at am

angle on a large plane, perfectly conducting sheet. The surface of the sheet is located at z

= 0 and

x

z

i 10 cos 1010 t

a yV m

2

2

Solution

From the equation of the incident electric field, the propagation vector is given by

ax

az

2

2

sin 45 a x cos 45 a z ,

that is, i 45

Because the electric field is along the y direction that is, perpendicular to the plane of

incidence, the equations given in the section above will be used.

15

The sheet current J (in ampere per meter) is determined by the total tangential

magnetic field at the surface. From the boundary condition,

J n

where the normal n to the surface for the geometry of Figure 6.5 is n = -az. The magnetic

field in this case has two components:

2 im

x

cos i cos z cos i e jx sin i

i

2 j m sin sin z cos e jx sin i

i

z

i

im

J at z 0 a z a y 2 cos i e jx sin i

i

2

2(10) cos 45

m

J peakvalue

cos i

3.75x 102 A m

377

EXAMPLE:

The electric field associated with a plane wave propagating in an arbitrary direction is

given by

(7.83 a x 4 a y 4.5 a z ) e j 7( 0.5 x 0.87 z )

If this incident on a perfectly conducting plane oriented perpendicular to the z axis, find

the following:

1. Reflected electric field.

16

3. Total magnetic field.

Solution

Because a vector in the direction of propagation and a unit vector normal to the reflecting

surface are contained in the x-z plane, we consider the x-z plane to be the plane of

incidence as shown in Figure 6.6. The given electric field may, therefore, be decomposed

into two components. The parallel polarization case in which the electric field is

perpendicular to the plane of incidence || and the perpendicular polarization case in

which the electric field is perpendicular to the plane of incidence

equation of the electric field,

x

z

||

Comparing this with the equation of the electric field in the parallel polarization case,

where the incident electric field is given by

i im (cos i a x sin i ) e j (sin i x cos i z )

i

X

Y

Figure 6.6

Observe that:

cos i 05.

sin i 087

.

That is, i 30

17

9. Hence, the electric field associated with the parallel polarization case can be expressed

in the form

i 9( 0.87 a 0.5 a ) e j ( 0.5 x 0.87 z )

x

z

||

Based on the analysis of section 6.2.1, we have r 30 , and the amplitude of the

reflected electric field ||r i|| 9 . Hence

. z)

i 4 a y e j7(05. x087

Based on the analysis of section 6.2.2, it can be shown that

r 4 a y e j7(05. x 087. z)

The total reflected electric field is then

r ( 7.83 a 4 a 4.5 a ) e j 7( 0.5x 0.87 z )

x

y

z

Parts 2 and 3 can easily be obtained by the following the analysis of section 6.2.

For example, the magnetic field associated with the electric field in the parallel

polarization case is given by

i 9 e j 7( 0.5x 0.87 z ) a

y

||

r 9 e j 7 ( 0.5 x 0.87 z ) a

y

||

For the perpendicular polarization case, the magnetic field has two components,

4

i ( cos i a x sin i a z) e j 7(0.5x 0.87 z)

18

4

4

cos i a x sin i a z e j 7( 0.5x 0.87 z )

r i

4

r (cos 30 a x sin 30 a z) e j 7(0.5x 0.87z )

r 1 ( 4 cos 30 a 9 a 4 sin 30 a ) e j 7 ( 0.5x 0.87 z )

x

y

z

Oblique Incidence

Figure 6.7 shows two media with electrical properties 1 and 1 in medium 1, and 2

and 2 in medium 2. Here a plane wave incident angle i on a boundary between the

two media will be partially transmitted into and partially reflected at the dielectric

surface. The transmitted wave is reflected into the second medium, so its direction of

propagation is different from the incidence wave. The figure also shows two rays for

each the incident, reflected, and transmitted waves. A ray is a line drawn normal to the

equiphase surfaces, and the line is along the direction of propagation.

19

Incident

rays

Reflected

rays

1 , 1

2 , 2

2

E

t

Reflected

rays

Figure 6.7

The incident ray 2 travels the distance CB, while on the contrary the reflected ray 1

travels the distance AE. For both AC and BE to be the incident and reflected wave fronts

or planes of equiphase, the incident wave should take the same time to cover the distance

AE. The reason being that the incident and reflected wave rays are located in the same

medium, therefore their velocities will be equal,

CB AE

V1

V2

OR

AB sin i AB sin r

With this being the case then it follows that

i r

What is the relationship between the angles of incidence i and refraction r ?

It takes the incident ray the equal amount of time to cover distance CB as it takes the

refracted ray to cover distance AD

CB

AD

V1

V2

20

1

V1

1 1

And in medium 2:

V2

2 2

Also,

CB AB sin i

AD AB sin i

Therefore,

CB sin i V 1

AD sin t V 2

2 2

1 1

Therefore,

sin i

sin t

2

1

1 2

(6.12)

21

||r

i||

i||

r

i

|r|

i r

Region 1

Region 2

(Out of

paper)

||t

||t

t

Z

Figure 6.9

The unknown amplitudes of the reflected and transmitted electric fields ||r and ||t can

be determined by simply applying the boundary conditions at the dielectric interface.

The electric fields ||r and ||t will now be used in the analysis to emphasize the case of

r

and tm .

parallel polarization, instead of using the electric fields m

The tangential component of H should be continuous across the boundary. Therefore,

t e jir a

r e jir a

i e jir a

y

y

y

||

||

||

There is no need to carry the ay vector, because the magnetic fields only have one

component in the y direction. Recall that this relation is valid at z = 0,

i e ji (sin i x )

t e j i (sin t x )

r e j i (sin r xi )

||

||

||

(6.13)

1 & 21 are the magnitudes of in regions 1 & 2, respectively. In order for this to be

valid at any value of x at any point on the interface, and knowing i r :

1 sin i 2 sin t

Or

22

sin i 2

sin t 1

V 2 V1

V2

V1

* This is the same relation that was determined earlier from Snells Law. Substitute

sin i V 1

sin t V 2

i

r

t

||

||

||

At z = 0

(6.14)

i

r

||

||

1 t

2 ||

(6.15)

i cos i

t cos At z = 0

r cos

r

t

||

||

||

(6.16)

Equations 6.15 & 6.16 are solved by

r

||

cos i 2 cos t

i|| 1

`1 cos i 2 cos t

And

t

||

i||

22 cos i

`1 cos i 2 cos t

(6.17)

:

transmission

||

||

||

i||

cos t 2 cos i

2 cos t 1 cos i

1

2 cos t 1 cos i

cos t 2 cos i

1

||

and the

1 2

And

23

||

||

i||

2 2 cos t 1 cos t

2 cos t 1 cos t

2 cos i

cos i

2

cos i

1

1 2

tot

i

r

||

||

||

cos i im e jx sin i

(e

j z cos i

|| e

j zcos i

)ax

e j z cosi a

i e jx sin i e j z cosi

sin i

m

||

z

Traveling wave

S tan ding plus

part

travelingwaves

(6.18)

Substituted i r , r r from expressions derived earlier, and rm im || .

Equation 6.18 states that there is a traveling-wave field in the x direction, and a traveling

and standing wave field in the z direction. The difference is that || 1 , but that | |

rm im . By rearranging the second term in ax component of the total field

1 e

||

jz cos i

2 || z cos i

direction and another wave of amplitude 2 | | has the characteristics of a standing wave

along the z axis. The characteristic of the wave along the z axis is a combination of a

traveling and standing wave. If || 1 the amplitude of the traveling wave will be zero,

and the wave characteristic along the z axis will be a totally standing wave. If | | 0 , the

amplitude of the standing wave will be zero and the wave characteristic in the z direction

would be a totally traveling wave.

The magnetic field in region 1 is

i e j ir a +

r e j rr a

tot

i

r

||

||

||

y

y

m

m

i

i

j z cos i m j x cos

i

= m e j x sin i e

r e

1

m

)ay

e j z cos i ) a

j z cos i

i

y

||

m e j x sin i (e

1

24

i|| tm cos t a x sin t a z e jt r

= i cos a sin a e jt r

||

t x

t z

And

i

t

t a e j t r || m e j t rt a

y

||

m y

2

Where t r 2 x sin t

z cos t

and tm im || .

Definition:

Brewster Angle (from Brewsters Law), the polarizing angle of which (when

light is incident) the reflected and refracted index is equal to the tangent of the polarizing

angle. In other words, the angle of incidence of which there is no reflection.

From the reflection coefficient expression

||

2 cos t 1 cos i

2 cos t 1 cos i

when

0.

1 cos i 2 cos t

Or

cos i

2

cos t

1

(6.19)

expression for this angle in terms of the dielectric properties of media 1 & 2, considering

Snells Law for the special case 1 2 is

sin i V 1 2

sin t V 2 1

1 2

25

This condition is important, because it is usually satisfied by the materials often used in

optical applications.

Equation 6.19 will take the form

cos i

1

cos t

2

(6.20)

Square both sides of equation 6.20 and use Snells Law for the special case of

1 2 for the following result:

cos2 i

cos2 t 1 1 sin2 t

2

2

1 1 sin 2 i

2

1 sin2 i

1 12 2

sin i

2 22

1 1 sin2 i

2

2

1 1

22

And

sin2 i

2

2 1

(6.21)

sin i

2

2 1

(6.22)

26

1 cos2 i

2

2 1

cos2 i 1

1

2

2 1 2 1

Or

cos i

1

2 1

tan i

2

1

(6.23)

tan1

2

1

As shown in figure 6.10 is a perpendicular polarized wave incident at angle i a dielectric

medium 2. Snells Law states that a reflected wave will be at the same angle r i , and

the transmitted wave in medium 2 at angle t can be calculated using this law. The

amplitude of the reflected and transmitted waves can be determined by applying the

continuity of the tangential components of E & H at the boundary.

This is given by

27

i

i

1, 1

i r

2 , 2

t

t

i

r

t

cos i

cos i

cos t

1

1

2

i r t

At z = 0

(6.24)

(6.25)

*Note: The exponential factors were canceled after substituting z = 0 and using Snells

Laws in the above two equations.

r

i

2 cos i 1 cos t

=

2 cos i 1 cos t

cos t

2

cos t

1

cos t

2

cos t

1

at z = 0,

28

22 cos i

2 cos i 1 cos t

2 cos i

cos i

2

cos

1 t

and Perpendicular Polarizations

||

The significant differences between the two will be illustrated in the following example:

EXAMPLE

1. Define what is meant by the Brewster angle.

2. Calculate the polarization angle (Brewster angle) for an air water r

interface at which plane waves pass from the following:

(a) Air into water.

(b) Water into air.

81

SOLUTION

1. Brewster angle is defined as the angle of incidence at which there will be no

reflected wave. It occurs when the incident wave is polarized such that the E field

is parallel to the plane of incidence.

2. (a) Air into water:

r1 1 and r 2 81

The Brewster angle is then given by

2

tan1

= 6.34

1

Therefore,

29

tan 1 81

= 83.7

r1 81 and r 2 1

Hence,

tan1

1

= 6.34

81

To relate the Brewster angles in both cases, let us calculate the angle of

refraction.

sin i

2

sin t

1

Therefore, in case a,

sin

81

sin t

Therefore,

sin t

sin 83.7

0.11

9

Or t 6.34 , which is the same as the Brewster angle for case b. Also, the angle of

refraction in case b is given by Snells Law as:

sin

sin t

81

1

81

Therefore,

sin t

sin 6.34

1

81

0.99

Notes by: Debbie Prestridge

30

In the previous section it was shown that for common dielectrics, the phenomenon of

total transmission exists only where the electric field is parallel to the plane of incidence

known as parallel polarization.

There is a second phenomenon existing for both polarizations:

Total reflection occurring at the interface between two dielectric media

A wave passing from a medium with a larger dielectric constant to a medium with

smaller value of

Snells Law of refraction shows

sin i

2

sin t

1

or

sin i

sin t

2

1

(6.26)

Therefore, if 1 2 , and t i then a wave incident at an angle i will pass into medium

2 at a larger angle t .

Definition:

c , (critical angle of incidence) is the value of i that makes t = /2, see

Figure 6.13.

Substitute t = /2 in equation 6.26 to get

sin c

i

1

2

1 2

, or c sin1 2

1

1

t 2

31

Figure 6.13 illustrates the fact that t i , if 1 2 . The critical angle c is defined as

the value of i at which t = /2.

Envision a beam of light impinging on an interface between two transparent media where

ni n t . At normal incidence ( i = 0) most of the incoming light is transmitted into the

less dense medium. As i increases, more and more light is reflected back into the dense

medium, while t increases. When t = 90, i is defined to be c and the

transmittance becomes zero. For i > c all of the light is totally internally reflected,

remaining in the incident medium.

EXAMPLES:

Use Snells Law to derive an expression for c. Compute the value of c for a

water-air interface ( n w =1.33).

ni sin i = nti sin t

sin t = nti sin t

Rewrite

As

sin c = nti

At water-air interface

1

c sin 1 (

) = sin 1 0.752 = 48.8

1.33

Imagine yourself lying on the floor of a pool filled with water, looking straight

upwards. How larger a plane angle doe the field of view beyond the pool

apparently subtend?

Rays striking the air-water interface from above at glancing incidence will

enter the water at a transmission angle equal to c . The plane angle subtended at the

observer is therefore 2 c . Here,

sin c =

1

1.33

32

Determine the critical angle for a water ( n w =1.33) glass ( n g =1.50) interface.

We have

sin c = nti

Or

1.33

c = sin 1

= sin 1 0.887 = 62.5

1.50

33

Wavelength

1 mm

1m

Radio

1m

Microwave

3 GHz

1nm

10-6 m

10-3 m

Infrared

3 x 1012 Hz

rays.

10-9 m

V

i

s

b

l

e

U

l

t

r

a

v

i

o

l

e

t

3 x105 Hz

rays

X rays

3 x1018 Hz

Frequency

The figure above shows the spectrum of electromagnetic radiation extending from the

long- wavelength radio waves to X rays and gamma rays the shortest wavelength.

Topics to be discussed will include control of polarization of incident waves, role of

Brewster windows in light amplification, and use of the concept of angle of total

reflection in optical fibers.

Definition

Notes by: Debbie Prestridge

34

Unpolarized light light in which the wave orientation is random around the axis

of the beam.

Unpolarized light has both polarization cases

Parallel polarization, where the electric field is the plane of incidence

Perpendicular polarization where the electric field is perpendicular to the plane of

incidence

In certain cases, there may be a need to separate the two polarizations. One method that

can be used is the Brewster angle of incidence, also called the polarization angle, to

separate the two orthogonal polarizations.

Example

Consider an Unpolarized light that is incident at the Brewster angle on a piece of glass

. . The polarization with a electric field parallel to

with index of refraction n r 15

the plane of incidence will be entirely transmitted and the other polarization with a

electric field perpendicular to the plane of incidence will be partially reflected and

partially transmitted. Why is the electric field parallel to the plane of incident totally

transmitted? *Because it is incident at the Brewster angle.

The second interface which is glass to air as illustrated in example 6.7 has an angle of

incidence also known as the Brewster angle for light incident from the glass side to free

space. So, again the polarization with E parallel to the plane of incident will be entirely

transmitted, and E perpendicular will be partially reflected and partially transmitted.

In Figure 6.17:

Reflected wave is entirely polarized, E perpendicular to the plane of incidence

Transmitted wave possess both polarizations

Larger amplitude is the E parallel to plane of incidence entirely transmitted

throughout the interfaces

More glass elements and the transmitted light could be essentially completely

polarized, E parallel to the plane of incidence

In a normal situation there are more electrons in the ground state (level 1) than in the

excited states (level 2 & 3). In other words, there are more electrons in level 1 ready to

absorb photons that there are electrons in level 2 & 3 to emit photons. A net emission of

Notes by: Debbie Prestridge

35

photons could be the result if this situation could be inverted. Such a condition is called

population inversion. This in fact is the fundamental principle involved in the operation

of a laser. Figure 6.8 illustrates this principle.

Definition:

Laser (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission) A device that produces

coherent radiation in the visible-light range, between 7500 and 3900 angstroms

Summarized steps leading to LASER action in three-level ruby laser material:

1. The laser material is in the shape of a long rod that is subjected to radiation from

an extremely intense light source that causes interatomic transition from energy

levels 1 to 3. (Figure 6.18b)

2. If the nonradiative transition between level 3 and level 2 is fast enough, then

electrons in level 3 will transfer to level instead of returning to level 1.

3. As a result of direct transition the population of electrons in level 2 will increase

from level 1. This is during the radiation from the light source, as well as the

transfer from level 3. (Figure 6.18c)

4. If the pumping action is large and fast enough the electron population at level 2

can be made larger than level 1. Radiation of light quanta at frequency f21 occurs

when the electrons can make the transition from level 2 to level 1.

5. By placing mirrors at the end of the laser and forcing the radiation to be reflected

back and forth maintaining the high-photon density, stimulated emission will

increase resulting in a large photon density build up or in other words an

avalanche of photons.

6. An intense light beam will result emerging from the end of the laser rod.

Partially polarized

light; mostly E

parallel to plane of

incidence

36

Polarized light

with E

perpendicular to

plane of

incidence

1

n

The role of the Brewster angle:

Known Factors

The output of many lasers is linearly polarized

The ratio of the light polarized in one direction exceeds the light polarized in the

orthogonal direction by 1000:1

As in most cases, a high degree of linear polarization will be the result of a Brewster

surface within the laser. A Brewster surface is usually used in the construction of a laser.

The light must be transmitted out of the medium of the laser to avoid minimal loss.

(c)Nonradiative transfer to

upper level

emitting laser

37

Figure 6.19 is a schematic illustrating the use of Brewster windows in a gas discharge

laser. The Brewster angle makes sure that light in one polarization direction is

transmitted out of the medium of the laser to the reflecting mirrors and back into the

medium of the laser with no loss. Where the light is polarized perpendicular to the plane

of incidence a large loss at the Brewster surface will take place due to the reflection out

of the medium of the laser. The preferred polarization case (linear polarization) will lase

(emit coherent light) that will account for the high degree of polarization taking place at

the output.

Figure 6.19 Schematic illustrating the use of Brewster windows in a gas discharge LASER

Output beam

Gas discharge

tube (plasma)

Brewster windows

External mirror

(totally reflecting)

External mirror

(partially reflecting)

The device in Figure 6.19 exhibits stimulated emission of radiation. For and example

lets say the mixture of gases are helium and neon. These gases are confined to the glass

tube sealed at both ends by mirrors. An oscillator is connected to the tube to that causes

electrons to sweep through the tube, colliding with atoms of gas and raising them to

exited states. Some neon atoms are excited to a higher state during this process that will

also result in a collision with excited helium atoms. Stimulated emission occurs as the

neon atoms make a transition to a lower state and neighboring excited atoms are

stimulated to emit at the same frequency and phase. This will result in a production of

coherent light.

Fiber optics deals with the transmission of light through small filamentary fibers called

dielectric waveguides. This is based on the phenomenon of total internal reflection

occurring at the point where the light is obliquely incident on an interface between two

media with different refractive indexes at an angle greater than the critical angle. Light is

incident at an angle i as shown in Figure 6.20 and is required to determine the range of

values of the index of refraction n so the internal reflections will occur for any value of

i.

38

Snells Law of refraction is the relationship between i and t as the wave enter the fiber is

sin i

2

1

n

(6.27)

sin t

1

If 2 is suppose to be larger than c , then

(6.28)

Refraction from fiber to air sin c = 1/n, therefore, from equation 6.27 & 6.28

2

1

1

sin2 i

n

n

(6.29)

Solve for n,

n 2 1 sin 2 i

requiring

n2 2

or

(6.30)

n

Reflected point

Smallest critical angle

t 2

Figure 6.20 Schematic illustrating the principle of light propagation in optical fibers.

39

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