Revista mexicana de física E
Print version ISSN 1870-3542
We analyze the scattering of elliptically polarized plane waves normally incident at the planar interface between two different materials; we consider two cases: dielectric-dielectric and dielectric-conductor interfaces. The scattering S matrix in both cases is obtained using the boundary conditions and Poynting's theorem. In the dielectric-dielectric case we write S using two different basis, the usual xy and a rotated one. For the dielectric-conductor interface, the use of the rotated basis together with an energy balance argument leads us, in a natural way, to construct a unitary S matrix after recognizing the need to introduce two equivalent parasitic channels due to dissipation in the conductor, and the transmission coefficient into these parasitic channels measures the absorption strength.
Keywords : Electromagnetic waves; scattering; polarization; absorption.