Polarization

Problem:

A unpolarized electromagnetic wave is incident on a series of three linear polarizers, the second with the polarization angle rotated at 30° and the third at 90° with respect to the first polarizer.  If the initial intensity of the unpolarized light is I0, what is the intensity I3 transmitted by the stack?

image

Solution:

Problem:

(a)  Assume the electric field of a plane wave propagating in the z-direction oscillates in the x-direction.  What combination of polarizers would transmit the beam so it would emerge with the electric field oscillating in the y-direction.  Assume that perfect linear and circular polarizers are available.  Perfect linear polarizers transmit 100% of the incident wave in one plane of polarization and absorb 100% in the perpendicular plane.  Circular polarizers (quarter-wave plates) retard one plane of polarization ¼ wavelength relative to the perpendicular plane of polarization and hence can change a linearly polarized wave to a right- or left-hand circularly polarized wave and vice versa, depending on the orientation of the linear polarization.
(b)  What combination of polarizers would change a right-hand circularly polarized beam traveling in the z-direction into a left-hand circularly polarized beam.  How?

Solution:

Problem:

(a)  Describe how to prepare a monochromatic plane wave of linearly polarized visible light.
(b)  Describe how to prepare a monochromatic plane wave of circularly polarized visible light

Solution: