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1.1. linear polarization

1.1.1. confined to a single plane along the direction of propagation

1.2. circular polarization

1.2.1. consists of two perpendicular, equal in amplitude, linear components that have a phase of difference of π/2. The resulting electric field describes a circle.

1.3. elliptical polarization

1.3.1. light consists of two perpendicular linear components with any amplitude and any phase difference. The resulting electric field describes an ellipse.

2. Methods of Polarizing Light

2.1. Polarization by Transmission

2.1.1. The most common method of polarization

2.1.2. Polaroid serves as a device that filters out one-half of the vibrations upon transmission of the light through the filter

2.2. Polarization by Reflection

2.2.1. Unpolarized light can also undergo polarization by reflection off of nonmetallic surfaces. The extent to which polarization occurs is dependent upon the angle at which the light approaches the surface and upon the material that the surface is made of.

2.3. Polarization by Refraction

2.3.1. Most often, the polarization occurs in a plane perpendicular to the surface - often demonstrated in a using a unique crystal that serves as a double-refracting crystal. Iceland Spar, a rather rare form of the mineral calcite, refracts incident light into two different paths

2.4. Polarization by Scattering

2.4.1. Polarization also occurs when light is scattered while traveling through a medium.

2.4.2. observed as light passes through our atmosphere. The scattered light often produces a glare in the skies


3.1. refers to the orientation of the plane of the disturbance in a transverse wave.

4. WHAT is?

4.1. Unpolarized light

4.1.1. A light wave that is vibrating in more than one plane

4.2. Polarized light

4.2.1. Light waves in which the vibrations occur in a single plane