Encyclopedia > Brewsters angle

  Article Content

Brewsters angle

Optical phenomenon discovered by Sir David Brewster (1781-1868), Scottish physicist.

When light moves between two media of differing refractive index, light which is p-polarised with respect to the interface will not be reflected from the interface at one particular incident angle, known as Brewster's angle.

It may be calculated by:

θB = arctan( n2 / n1 ) ,

where n1 and n2 are the refractive indices of the two media.

Note that, since all p-polarised light is refracted, any light reflected from the interface at this angle must be s-polarised. A glass plate placed at Brewster's angle in a light beam can thus be used as a polariser.

See also Fresnel equations.



All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

 
  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
 
 
  
  Featured Article
Massacre of Glencoe

... Brief account of the massacre which ascribes ultimate blame to King William. Glen Coe M ...