« · »

Physlets run in a Java-enabled browser on the latest Windows & Mac operating systems.
If Physlets do not run, click here for help on updating Java and setting Java security.

Problem 9.1: What happens to the classical wave during scattering?

Please wait for the animation to completely load.

A classical electromagnetic wave (infrared light) is traveling to the right through two media (I and II) of different indices of refraction n1 and n2, respectively (position is given in microns, μm).  As the light encounters a change in index of refraction, part of it is transmitted through the surface and part is reflected backwards. Shown in red is the left-moving part of the EM wave (the reflected wave) and shown in blue is the right-moving part of the EM wave (the incident wave in Region I and the transmitted wave in Region II).

Vary n2 from 1 to 5, keeping n1 = 1 and vary n2 from 1 to 5, keeping n2 = 1 by selecting one of the links. Answer the following questions for each situation.

  1. How does the reflected wave in Region I compare to the incident wave in Region I?  Be as explicit as possible.
  2. As n2 (n1) increases, what happens to the reflected wave compared to the transmitted wave?
  3. Consider the case when  n2 = 5 (n1= 5).  Looking at the waves in Region I, if they were combined, what would the combination look like?
The OSP Network:
Open Source Physics - Tracker - EJS Modeling
Physlet Physics
Physlet Quantum Physics