Rear View Mirrors and Polarization
Date: June 2003
According to an answer in your archives, automobile rear
view mirrors can dim light by splitting incident light into a small
fraction that is reflected from the front surface of the mirror and a
larger fraction that is reflected from the rear surface in a slightly
different direction. Are there any mirrors which split incident light
into slightly divergent reflected components one of which is polarized?
It seems to me that such a device could reduce glare without dimming the
overall reflection as much as a standard dimming mirror.
There are probably such mirrors commercially available, although I suspect they are
"pricey". There are a number of crystals (must be single crystals, not a powder) that
will split an incident unpolarized beam into two polarized beams that propagate in two
different. The most common and cheapest is calcite.
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Update: June 2012