It is shown that light lost by reflection before entering a clear and homogeneous sphere or infinite cylinder is precisely compensated by light retained within these bodies by internal reflection; compensation means that the total rate of light absorption by infinitely dilute photoreceptors as integrated through the whole of these bodies or even through any concentric or coaxial shell making them up is independent of surface reflection. In the Phycomyces sporangiophore this theorem precludes a reflection explanation of R, the polarization dependence of the light growth response.

An alternative explanation based upon anisotropic absorption by the receptors is explored and found tenable. Formulae are derived for R in any transparent cylindrical cell as a function of the constants of anisotropic absorption by the photoreceptors taken as a group (CH' and CL'), of the radial position of the receptors, and of the refractive indices of the cell (n) and of the medium (N). It is inferred that the photoreceptors in the Phycomyces sporangiophore are most absorbent for light vibrating in the direction of a hoop around a barrel. Orientation of the receptors by linkage to the cell wall is then shown to be a plausible explanation of the inferred anisotropy. On the basis of anisotropic reception, it is predicted that R should be constant for any N > n, and it is shown how CH', C,L' and the radial position of the receptors may all be obtained from a careful determination of R as a function of N.

This content is only available as a PDF.