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location Canada
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Nov
27
awarded  Caucus
Nov
20
awarded  optics
Nov
19
revised Photon energy - momentum in matter
expanded answer to include Abraham-Minkowski controversy and microscopic picture
Nov
19
comment Photon energy - momentum in matter
actually, three: 1) $p=\hbar k$ is only valid for a photon in a plane wave mode, which people usually gloss over; 2) saying that phase matching is due to conservation of momentum is not accurate, despite it being popular to say in nonlinear optics; 3) of course you are right that the photon is traveling mostly in vacuum and so has $p=h\nu/c$; but that expression is useless at the scale of macroscopic dielectric media.
Nov
19
comment Photon energy - momentum in matter
I've thought and discussed about it some more and come to two insights:
Nov
19
comment Photon energy - momentum in matter
Indeed, the Abraham-Minkowski controversy is divided between whether the momentum of a single photon is larger or smaller in a dielectric, but it certainly doesn't stay the same!
Nov
19
comment Photon energy - momentum in matter
@MarkMitchison I'm aware that photons appearing to travel slower in water is purely due to averaging. However, the momentum of a single photon is h-bar times the wave vector, and the wave vector's magnitude is larger in a denser medium with a slower speed of light. This is how phase matching works in nonlinear optics - conservation of momentum. Also, surface plasmon resonance excitation mechanisms (such as the Kretschmann configuration) are explained by different photon momenta in different materials.
Nov
18
answered Photon energy - momentum in matter
Nov
2
awarded  Yearling
Nov
2
comment Are circular polarizations a basis for any light polarization?
In or out of the plane of reflection when reflecting off a surface: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
Nov
2
comment Are circular polarizations a basis for any light polarization?
I think if you see people using TM and TE to mean s and p polarization, it's probably wrong (although I admit to having done this myself in the past.)
Nov
2
comment Are circular polarizations a basis for any light polarization?
As far as I know, TM and TE are defined in terms of waveguides. For more info, see Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waveguide_%28electromagnetism%29
Nov
2
comment Are circular polarizations a basis for any light polarization?
TM and TE: not quite. If light is incident on a surface, then no transverse polarization is ever perpendicular to that surface.
Oct
25
comment Ideal four-level Gain Medium (or just any old gain medium)
I think you could improve your question by saying which parts you do and don't understand.
Oct
20
revised Is the number of rays projected by a source of light finite?
improved grammar
Oct
20
suggested suggested edit on Is the number of rays projected by a source of light finite?
Oct
11
revised Liquid crystal shutter with >90% transmission?
added paragraph about liquid crystal shutters
Oct
11
answered How is the phase shift of light measured?
Oct
8
comment Liquid crystal shutter with >90% transmission?
A suggestion: as I mentioned in my answer, so much engineering goes into these things that nobody here is going to be able to help you with manufacturing strategies. Instead, why not partner with that research group at NCSU? That would benefit you both (science funding always seems to flow more readily if the funding agencies see that you are partnering with industry.)
Oct
8
comment Liquid crystal shutter with >90% transmission?
The second paper describes an optical filter, not a shutter. The first paper works in a different way than you describe above - instead of blocking the light with crossed polarizers and transmitting it with parallel polarizers, it doesn't block any light at all. Instead of blocking, it diverts it to the side, outside of an arbitrarily defined "viewing angle". Figure 2 of that paper is a fairly clear illustration of this.