Abstract

For the reflection of light from a thin film on glass, that is, from two boundary surfaces, the generalized Fresnel equations are:

rpeiδp=rp+rpeix1+rprpeix,rseiδs=rs+rseix1+rsrseix.
This also can be interpreted as a reflection from a single surface of a hypothetical medium, the reflected components having amplitudes rp and rs and phases δp and δs. Similarly, the reflection from two thin films on glass, that is, from three boundaries, can be reduced to the case of a single film which in turn can be reduced to the reflection from a single surface. This process can be carried for any number of thin films on glass. The normal incidence problem is considered for one, two, and several films and limiting cases of interest in optical practice are calculated. The reflection formulae are simplified if multiple reflections in the films are disregarded. In conclusion the results for two thin films on glass are given. These may be used in practice to decrease or completely extinguish reflection, as well as to increase it.

© 1947 Optical Society of America

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