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When unpolarized light travels from air into a glass slab, the reflected light is polarized if the incident angle is equal to the Brewster angle. This is clear to me. However, according to Wikipedia, the refracted light becomes slightly polarized—a concept I find a bit confusing.

My question is what happens when this slightly polarized refracted light exits the glass slab back into the air? Does it revert to being completely unpolarized? Intuitively I think that it does not; instead, it retains its slight polarization for at least some distance.

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If we start with random/unpolarized light and it impacts the glass at 90 deg then the light pretty much passes thru the way it came in, therefore unpolarized (actually about 7% is reflected, also unpolarized).

Polarization begins as we start to change the angle, it is like selection of the photons, every material is different in its crystal structure and in the optical sciences there is a lot of study on what are called s and p indexes of the material .... these describe how the polarizations of the photons will interact with the material.

At higher angles light reflected is based on its angle of polarization ... that means the the transmitter light also gets polarized because these angles are missing.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the answer! $\endgroup$
    – cconsta1
    Commented Feb 3 at 16:24

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