Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Circularly Polarized Light

  1. Oct 7, 2007 #1
    I don't know if it is just my text/sources, but it appears that physics books ignore the phenomenon of left and right polarized light. What I would like help understanding is whether it is possible in the lab to divide plane polarized light into its two circularly polarized components. I know from experience, that it is possible to change the direction of the net polarization by passing light through chemicals- something I vaguely remember doing in 2nd year chem lab at UBC.

    Now the point being, that if it is possible to isolate, say, a stream of circularly polarized light. Is it them possible to reflect the said light on a surface and measure to see if the light has remained c-polarized? Or, as I would expect- does it change from left to right, that is-reverse polarize?

    Anyone have any experience in this field= or am I just gunna have to do my own experiment?

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 9, 2007 #2
    Left and Right circularly polarized light discussion

    The following link should summarize the phenomenon of left and right circularly polarized light:


    1. While I know that there are two components to plane polarized light, namely left and right circularly polarized light. And:

    2. That certain chemicals can affect one of these components to cause a shift,

    what I want to know is if it is possible to actually isolate a pure left circularly polarized beam of light, that is, to completely separate one component from the other?
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook