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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Blue sun reflected from water: optical lessons from observations of nature
Author(s): Joseph A. Shaw; Michael Vollmer

Paper Abstract

Specular reflections of the sun from a wind-rippled water surface combine to form a glitter pattern. These reflections are expected to not alter the perceived color of the sun (or other light source), but when the light is reflected near the Brewster angle, the highly polarized glints can appear blue when observed through a polarizer or polarizing sun glasses. This blue appearance is a result of blue light leakage through a standard film polarizer oriented orthogonal to the plane of polarization of the reflected light. Measurements are shown of crossed-polarizer transmission spectra exhibiting blue and near infrared light leakage for photographic polarizing filters and polarized sunglasses. A variety of photographs are shown to confirm blue light leakage as the source of the blue glint color.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 August 2017
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 10452, 14th Conference on Education and Training in Optics and Photonics: ETOP 2017, 104523B (16 August 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2270481
Show Author Affiliations
Joseph A. Shaw, Montana State Univ. (United States)
Michael Vollmer, Univ. of Applied Sciences Brandenburg (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10452:
14th Conference on Education and Training in Optics and Photonics: ETOP 2017
Xu Liu; Xi-Cheng Zhang, Editor(s)

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