The Imbert Fedorov effect ( named after Fedor Ivanovič Fedorov and Christian Imbert ) is an optical phenomenon that occurs in the total reflection of the circularly or elliptically polarized light: The reflected beam undergoes a small displacement perpendicular to the plane of incidence. The effect occurs together with a shift on along the plane of incidence, the Goos- Hänchen effect, which is also observed for linearly polarized light.
Considering the case of a laterally -limited beam that is totally reflected at the boundary surface of two different media, it becomes apparent that the total reflection of two separate movements in the longitudinal and the transverse direction will be accompanied to the incidence plane. The existence of a longitudinal displacement was already predicted by Isaac Newton and investigated experimentally by Fritz Goos and Hänchen Hilda in the 1940s, this longitudinal displacement is called the Goos- Hänchen effect. In 1955, FI Fedorov wrote that a transverse displacement of a totally reflected beam should also occur. This lateral displacement was calculated in 1972 by C. Imbert with the aid of the energy flux argument later verified experimentally.