The measurement of optical excitation functions excited by electron impact is typically accomplished by recording atomic fluorescence emitted into a small solid angle perpendicular to the incident electron beam. This measured intensity is not proportional to the emission cross section because the fluorescence exhibits an angular distribution and polarization that varies with the energy of the exciting electrons. Typically, a polarizer is set at the “magic angle” with respect to the electron beam axis to remove this polarization dependence. The literature for the derivation of the magic angle value assumes the polarizing element is perfect. An expression for the angle that accounts for the use of a partial polarizer is presented.
© 2008 Optical Society of America
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