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PHYS 4C EQUATION STUDY PAGE

EQUATION
tan p =

n2
n1

EQUATION NUMBER

PAGE NUMBER

44-2

1004

SYMBOL IDENTIFICATION
is the polarize angle

n2

is the second objects index of refraction

n1

is the second objects index of refraction

RESTRICTIONS

The p is only the polarize angle.


It has to be used with tangent.

THEORETICAL DEVELOPMENT
Brewsters law, relationship for light waves stating that the maximum polarization (vibration in
one plane only) of a ray of light may be achieved by letting the ray fall on a surface of a
transparent medium in such a way that the refracted ray makes an angle of 90 with
the reflected ray. The law is named after a Scottish physicist, Sir David Brewster, who first
proposed it in 1811.

APPLICATION

Polarized sunglasses use the principle of Brewster's angle to reduce glare from the sun
reflecting off horizontal surfaces such as water or road.

COMMON MISTAKES IN USAGE


n
n
Make sure the 2 is on the top not 1
Make sure it is tangent. Not sin nor cos.

EXTRA INFORMATION