Tag Archives: plane wave

The Three Polarizer Paradox: 5-Minute Quantum Physics

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 …

Malus’ Law and Light Intensity: 5-Minute Quantum Physics

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!

Modelling Light as a Plane Wave: 5-Minute Quantum Physics

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.