Linked Questions

12
votes
1answer
57k views

Intensity of unpolarized light through polarizer

When unpolarized light is polarized with two polarizers, the intensity becomes $I=I_ocos^2(θ)$ (Malus's law). But when unpolarized light is polarized with only one polarizer, the intensity is reduced ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the significance of Lie groups $SO(3)$ and $SU(2)$ to particle physics?

I was hoping someone could give an overview as to how the Lie groups $SO(3)$ and $SU(2)$ and their representations can be applied to describe particle physics? The application of Lie groups and their ...
2
votes
2answers
9k views

How the polarization of electromagnetic wave is determined?

What help us determine the polarization of electromagnetic wave . Does perpendicular electric and magnetic field determine it or does the direction of propagation ?
2
votes
3answers
1k views

How do I operate on a spin state with a sigma operator?

For any arbitrary spin state $|s\rangle$. How do I operate on it with the Pauli spin matrix, $\hat{\sigma_z}$? Does this have something to do with a Bloch sphere?
5
votes
1answer
2k views

electric field of unpolarized light after reflect?

Reflection and transmission (Fresnel equation) of polarized light are treated in many optics or electromagnetism books. If $E_s$ and $E_p$ is incident electric field with s-polarization and p-...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Decoherence of a Coherent Beam

If retarding films (i.e. wave plates) can retard the electric components of light (based on the films thickness) without affecting it's direction, couldn't I use a retarding film of randomly varying ...
4
votes
3answers
405 views

Unpolarized Light

Suppose I had a ray of unpolarized light, and I was sitting inside the beam and looking at the electric fields oscillating, then , if I am looking at a point how would the oscillations look like? I ...
4
votes
1answer
393 views

Two-Person Problem

The following is a thought experiment I've been stuck on. (No, this isn't homework. I made it up.) Here it is: Two-Person Problem Let's say we have a superposed particle going through a tube. ...
0
votes
2answers
566 views

Polarisation definition

What is more correct and what is the difference? Polarised waves are waves with vibrations in one direction perpendicular to energy propagation "vibrations in one plane" "vibrations in one direction ...
3
votes
1answer
257 views

How does one calculate the polarization state of random light after total internal reflection

How does one calculate the polarization state of random light after having been totally reflected by a single dielectric interface? Please consider pure specular reflexions from a plane interface ...
3
votes
1answer
193 views

Polarisation of light is a wave concept or applicable to photons as well?

I have a very fundamental question. We explain polarisation of light assuming wave nature of light. Is it still valid if we assume light as photons? Or in other words, polarisation is a wave concept ...
2
votes
2answers
235 views

Relationship of Photon Spin States to Beam Polarization

What is the relationship between the individual spin states of photons in a light beam and the polarization of the light beam, if any? What about the spin states determines the degree of polarization, ...
1
vote
2answers
252 views

Quantum theory of light

What's the scattering matrix for a PBS (polarization beam splitter)? Is it just unitary? If one polarization never couples into another polarization (then there's a lot of zeroes in that 4x4 matrix) - ...
1
vote
0answers
64 views

Why is unpolarized light a statistical mixture?

Why is unpolarized light a statistical mixture of pure polarizations, as it is said here, rather than a quantum combination?