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Title: Huygens' principle and the phenomena of total reflexion
Authors: Raman, C.V.
Issue Date: 1926
Publisher: IOP Publishing Ltd
Citation: Transactions of the Optical Society, 1926, Vol. 28, p149-160
Abstract: In this paper the phenomena of total reflexion are considered, de novo, from the standpoint of the Principle of Huygens, no use whatever being made of the Fresnel formulae for reflexion and refraction. Huygens' principle enables us to evaluate the disturbance appearing in the second medium when light is incident on the boundary between two media and is totally reflected into the first medium. The disturbance takes the form of a superficial wave moving parallel to the boundary. The existence of such a superficial wave is then shown to involve, as a necessary consequence, an acceleration of the reflected wave with reference to the incident wave, the acceleration being zero at critical incidence and increasing to half an oscillation at grazing incidence. The intensity of the superficial wave is at critical incidence greater for the component having the magnetic vector parallel to the surface, but diminishes more rapidly with increasing incidence than for the component having the electric vector parallel to the surface; the phase-advance reaches its maximum value correspondingly sooner. The phase-angle between the two components is evaluated and found to be an acute angle, in agreement with the classical treatment based on the Fresnel formulae, but in disagreement with the conclusions of Lord Kelvin and Schuster. The source of error in the Kelvin-Schuster treatment is pointed out. Experimental evidence regarding the magnitude of the phase-advance of each component separately is available and is in agreement with the classical theory. Finally, a method is described by which the distribution of intensity, state of polarisation, and direction of flow of energy in the superficial wave may be studied experimentally.
Description: Open Access. Scanned from Vol.3 of Scientific Papers of C.V. Raman. Ed. by S. Ramaseshan. Published in 1988 by the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore.
ISSN: 1475-4878
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Copyright: 1926 IOP Publishing Ltd.
Appears in Collections:C.V. Raman - Scientific Papers, Vol.3. Optics

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