# Can a wire grid used for polarizing also cause diffraction?

• Dinheiro
In summary, the conversation discusses the use of wire grids to polarize light beams and the potential for diffraction despite the wire's length. It is mentioned that diffracted rays will occur due to absorption by the grid, but it is uncertain if the light will also be polarized. The effectiveness of the wire in diffraction gratings and polarizers is also mentioned, with the latter being more suitable for polarizing light.
Dinheiro
Just wondering, in order to polarize a light beam with a wire grid you could also get some difraction in despite of the wire's length, right? And, if so, will the difracted rays also be polarized?

Last edited:
Yes, you will get diffracted rays since some of the wavefront is absorbed by the grid. I'm not sure if the diffracted light will also be polarized, but I would think so.

1 person
If the effective space between the wires is more than the wavelength of the light, it will tend diffract. If it's less, it will tend to be polarized.

The wire used to make diffraction gratings is usually flat and aligned to make "slots" (like this: IIIIII) to cause maximum diffraction. The wire in polarizers is usually round to minimize diffraction. Both have a polarizing effect, but a properly selected polarizer will work better for this.

1 person

## 1. What is polarization and how does it occur?

Polarization is a phenomenon that occurs when light waves are restricted to vibrate in a specific direction. This can happen through reflection, scattering, or transmission, and it results in a light wave that oscillates in a single plane instead of in all directions.

## 2. What are the different types of polarization?

The three main types of polarization are linear, circular, and elliptical. Linear polarization occurs when the light waves vibrate in a single plane, circular polarization occurs when the light waves rotate in a circular motion, and elliptical polarization occurs when the light waves rotate in an elliptical motion.

## 3. How is polarization used in everyday life?

Polarization has many practical applications in everyday life. One common use is in sunglasses, which use polarized lenses to block out glare from reflected light. Polarized filters are also used in photography to reduce reflections and improve image quality. Additionally, polarization is used in LCD screens, such as those used in televisions and computer monitors, to control the direction of light and produce images.

## 4. What is diffraction and how does it occur?

Diffraction is a phenomenon that occurs when a wave, such as light, encounters an obstacle or passes through an opening and bends around it. This results in the spreading out of the wave and the formation of a pattern of light and dark regions. Diffraction can occur with any type of wave, not just light waves.

## 5. What is the difference between diffraction and interference?

Diffraction and interference are both phenomena that occur when waves interact with each other. The main difference is that diffraction occurs when a wave encounters an obstacle or passes through an opening, while interference occurs when two or more waves meet and combine to form a new wave. Diffraction results in a pattern of light and dark regions, while interference results in a pattern of bright and dark fringes.

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