The angle of incidence beyond which rays of light passing through a denser medium to the surface of a less dense medium are no longer refracted but totally reflected.
- For angles exceeding the critical angle, the refracted waves are evanescent and the reflectivity is very close to unity.
- Compared with the intensity enhancement for total internal reflection (~ 4 times that of the incident light) at the critical angle, the enhancement for SPR can reach up to 20-30 times higher.
- If the beam through m1 is greater than the critical angle, then the refracted beam will be reflected entirely back into m1 (total internal reflection), even though m2 may be transparent!
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