Essence of the Brewster phenomenon: Brewster wavenumbers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Brewster angle has been taught as a zero-reflection since the 1950s. Teaching the Brewster angle as zero-reflection angle is like telling only an incomplete introduction to a story. However, this zero-reflection angle is thought to be a polarizing angle. The polarizing comes about because of a specific decoupling of the reflected plane waves from the incident plane waves, and the essence of the Brewster phenomenon are the Brewster wavenumbers. Hence, teaching undergraduate students that the Brewster angle is a zero-reflection angle in not proper. It is historically incorrect and it is intellectually impoverished.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)369-370
Number of pages2
JournalInternational Journal of Electrical Engineering Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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