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Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Editor: Franco Gori
  • Vol. 27, Iss. 9 — Sep. 1, 2010
  • pp: 2085–2090

Transmission of p- and s-polarized light through a prism and the condition of minimum deviation

R. M. A. Azzam and Ryan M. Adams  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 27, Issue 9, pp. 2085-2090 (2010)

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The condition of minimum deviation (MD) by a transparent optically isotropic prism is re-derived, and expressions for the intensity transmittances T p ( θ ) and T s ( θ ) of an uncoated prism of refractive index n and prism angle α for incident p- and s-polarized light and their derivatives with respect to the internal angle of refraction θ are obtained. When the MD condition ( θ = α / 2 ) is satisfied, T s is maximum and T p is maximum or minimum. The transmission ellipsometric parameters ψ t , Δ t of a symmetrically coated prism are also shown to be locally stationary with respect to θ at θ = α / 2 . The constraint on ( n , α ) for maximally flat transmittance (MFT) of p-polarized light at and near the MD condition is determined. The transmittance T p of prisms represented by points that lie below the locus ( n , α ) of MFT exhibits oscillation as a function of θ. No similar behavior is found for the s polarization. Magnitudes and angular positions of the maxima and minima of the oscillatory T p -versus-θ curves are also calculated as functions of α for a ZnS prism of refractive index n = 2.35 in the visible.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(120.5710) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Refraction
(120.7000) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Transmission
(230.5440) Optical devices : Polarization-selective devices
(230.5480) Optical devices : Prisms
(260.5430) Physical optics : Polarization

ToC Category:
Optical Devices

Original Manuscript: April 16, 2010
Revised Manuscript: June 28, 2010
Manuscript Accepted: July 27, 2010
Published: August 31, 2010

R. M. A. Azzam and Ryan M. Adams, "Transmission of p- and s-polarized light through a prism and the condition of minimum deviation," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 27, 2085-2090 (2010)

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