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March 29, 2017

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Light that is polarized along the vertical direction is incident on a sheet of polarizing material. Only 94% of the intensity of the light passes through the sheet and strikes a second sheet of polarizing material. No light passes through the second sheet. What angle does the transmission axis of the second sheet make with the vertical?

  • Physics - ,

    If no light gets through the second material, it must be passing only light polarized in the horizontal direction (perpendicular to the "transmission axis") of the first sheet.

  • Physics - ,

    We can use Malus law to solve this problem, equaiton 24.7:



    S=Socos2Θ



    S=amount of light leaving

    So = amount of light entering



    We know that S/So = 94%, or 0.94



    Now, to solve for Θ from Malus law

    S/So =cos2 Θ



    Θ=cos-1 sqrt (S/So)

    Θ= cos-1 sqrt (0.94)



    Θ= 14.18



    We subtract this from 90 due to respct to the vertical



    so 90-14.18= 75.82 degrees

  • Physics - ,

    The solution is almost correct, except that for the final answer it would be 90 + 14.18 = 104.18 degrees because the first sheet is already rotated 14.18 degrees from the vertical.

  • Physics - ,

    My apologies: the range for Θ is between 0 and 90 degrees, so the original answer of 75.82 degrees is correct.

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