First Advisor

Lee Casperson

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Electrical and Computer Engineering


Electrical Engineering




Electromagnetic waves -- Mathematical models, Reflection (Optics) -- Mathematical models, Refraction -- Mathematical models



Physical Description

1 online resource (vii, 58 p.)


This thesis deals with the topic of reflection and refraction of light from the boundary of nonlinear materials in general, and saturating amplifiers in particular. We first study some of the basic properties of the light waves in nonlinear materials. We then develop a general formalism to model the reflection and refraction of light with an arbitrary angle of incidence from the boundary of a nonlinear medium. This general formalism is then applied to the case of reflection and refraction from the boundary of linear dielectrics. It will be shown that in this limit, it reduces to the well known Fresnel and Snell's formulas. We also study the interface of a saturating amplifier. The wave equation we use for this purpose is approximate, in the sense that it assumes the amplitude of the wave does not vary significantly in a distance of a wave length. The limits and implications of this approximation are also investigated. We derive expressions for electric field and intensity reflection and transmission coefficients for such materials. In doing so, we make sure that the above mentioned approximation is not violated. These results are compared with the case of reflection and refraction from the interface of a linear dielectric.


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