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Brewster angle, θ B

When an unpolarized planar electromagnetic wavefront impinges on a flat dielectric surface, there is a unique angle (θ B), commonly referred to as Brewster angle, at which the reflected waves are all polarized into a single plane.
Notes:
  1. Expression for Brewster angle:
    θ B = arctan ⁡ n 2 n 1 = arctan ⁡ ( ɛ 2 ɛ 1 ) 1/2
    where n 2 and n 1 are the refractive indices of the receiving surface and the initial medium, respectively, and ɛ 2 and ɛ 1 are the relative static permittivities (formerly called dielectric constants).
  2. For a randomly polarized beam incident at Brewster angle, the electric fields of the reflected and refracted waves are perpendicular to each other
  3. For a wave incident from air on water (n = 1.333), glass (n = 1.515), and diamond (n = 2.417), the Brewster angles are 53, 57, and 67.5 degrees, respectively.
Source:
PAC, 2007, 79, 293 (Glossary of terms used in photochemistry, 3rd edition (IUPAC Recommendations 2006)) on page 310
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Cite as:
IUPAC. Compendium of Chemical Terminology, 2nd ed. (the "Gold Book"). Compiled by A. D. McNaught and A. Wilkinson. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford (1997). XML on-line corrected version: http://goldbook.iupac.org (2006-) created by M. Nic, J. Jirat, B. Kosata; updates compiled by A. Jenkins. ISBN 0-9678550-9-8. doi:10.1351/goldbook.
Last update: 2014-02-24; version: 2.3.3.
DOI of this term: doi:10.1351/goldbook.BT07336.
Original PDF version: http://www.iupac.org/goldbook/BT07336.pdf. The PDF version is out of date and is provided for reference purposes only. For some entries, the PDF version may be unavailable.
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