A tutorial on the “three polarizer paradox”. Actually the stuff we see in this tutorial won’t be all that paradoxical, just a little unexpected perhaps. The real “paradox” will emerge in the next tutorial when we look at photons. Nevertheless, we need to know how things look classically before we start messing about with semi-hypothetical particles …
A tutorial on Malus’ law and where it comes from. Malus’ law enables us to predict how the intensity of a beam of polarized light will change as it passes through polarizing filters. Even if basic old optical laws don’t interest you, it’s worth studying this stuff, since we’re going to move on to looking at how this whole thing works when we start claiming that light is made up of photons, which is going to be quite interesting.
This is the first tutorial I’ve published in a while … thanks for your patience if you’ve been waiting for it, and many thanks to those few who emailed me and asked when the next tutorial was due!
How the energy carried by a wave relates to its electric field strength.
A tutorial on angular frequency in the plane wave equation.
In this tutorial we’ll look at the wave number; which is the name given to the constant k in the plane wave equation. Wave number turns out to have a pretty simple physical significance.
It’s interesting to model the electric component of EM radiation as a plane wave. Although this isn’t a fully realistic model and neglects such important aspects as electric flux density, nevertheless it captures some aspects of light and it’ll get us started with waves, which there is going to be a lot more of later on.