Fresnel reflection: In optics, the reflection of a portion of incident light at a discrete interface between two media having different refractive indices. (188) Note 1: Fresnel reflection occurs at the air-glass interfaces at the entrance and exit ends of an optical fiber. Resultant transmission losses, on the order of 4% per interface, can be reduced considerably by the use of index-matching materials. Note 2: The coefficient of reflection depends upon the refractive index difference, the angle of incidence, and the polarization of the incident radiation. For a normal ray, the fraction of reflected incident power is given by
where R is the reflection coefficient and n 1and n 2 are the respective refractive indices of the two media. In general, the greater the angle of incidence with respect to the normal, the greater the Fresnel reflection coefficient, but for radiation that is linearly polarized in the plane of incidence, there is zero reflection at Brewster's angle. Note 3: Macroscopic optical elements may be given antireflection coatings consisting of one or more dielectric thin-film layers having specific refractive indices and thicknesses. Antireflection coatings reduce overall Fresnel reflection by mutual interference of individual Fresnel reflections at the boundaries of the individual layers.
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