Applied Physics A

, Volume 87, Issue 2, pp 297-303

First online:

Brewster angle for anisotropic materials from the extinction theorem

  • W. ShuAffiliated withDepartment of Physics, Nanjing University Email author 
  • , Z. RenAffiliated withDepartment of Physics, Nanjing University
  • , H. LuoAffiliated withDepartment of Physics, Nanjing University
  • , F. LiAffiliated withDepartment of Physics, Nanjing University

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We explore the physical origin of the Brewster angle in the external and internal reflections associated with an anisotropic material. We obtain the expressions of the reflected fields and the existence condition of the Brewster angle by using the extinction theorem. It is found that the Brewster angle will occur if the total contribution of the material’s electric and magnetic dipoles to the reflected field becomes zero. In internal reflection, the requirements on the material parameters ε and μ for the Brewster angle are the same as those in external reflection, and the Brewster angle is just the refraction angle in external reflection at the incidence of the external Brewster angle. The results of the present paper are applicable to dielectric and magnetic materials, including metamaterials.