Abstract

We report the results of an experimental study of the lateral wave produced by a laser beam on an air-water interface. Our data, obtained for two laser wavelengths (441.6 and 632.8 nm), are reasonably consistent with the predictions of Tamir and Oliner that (a) the ratio of the lateral irradiances for incident light-polarized parallel and perpendicular to the plane of incidence, Ip  /Is, is n4, where n is the water–air relative index of refraction, and (b) the irradiances of both polarizations decrease as the cube of the surface-path length. The surface-path lengths of the lateral wave in this study range from 1.5 to 7 cm.

© 1973 Optical Society of America

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