Abstract

When conventional Fresnel theory is applied to absorbing multilayer systems, a slight discrepancy with respect to the principle of conservation of energy arises. Here we solve this long-perceived problem and present rigorous expressions for the Fresnel equations generally applicable to interfaces between isotropic absorbing media. These equations satisfy the conservation law automatically and coincide naturally with the conventional ones in reflection by simple mirrors placed in a vacuum.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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