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Appl Opt. 1983 Apr 1;22(7):1094-8.

Extinction of light in Brewster polarizers: a shadowlike phenomenon.

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Centro de Investigaciones en Optica, A.P. 948, Leon, Gto. 37000, Mexico.


A Brewster polarizer in this study is any dielectric plane reflecting surface reflecting light at or near the Brewster angle of incidence. In this paper, we consider an interesting phenomenon observed when we use an extended source of light or a cone of light with its axis incident on the plane surface at the Brewster angle. The resulting reflected light is viewed (a) through an ordinary sheet polarizer and (b) after reflection from another Brewster polarizer. The extinction pattern of light by such a system is in the form of an elongated black shadow in (a) and a nearly circular shadow in (b), respectively. These shadows are explained on the basis and use of the familiar Fresnel equations at a plane interface between two dielectric media. Photographs of the shadows are also presented.

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