1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Fluourescent Light Polarized?

  1. Sep 14, 2007 #1

    I've tried looking everywhere for the answer to this, and would be fantastic if anyone could help me.

    Is fluorescent lighting (found in energy saving light bulbs/lamps) polarized?

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 14, 2007 #2
    Surely you can buy a cheap polarized filter and see for yourself?
  4. Sep 14, 2007 #3
    No ..
    The light we see from a fluourescent is due to stimulated emmission from the atoms of a phospher coating on the inside of the tube. Photons in the ultra violet are generated by the electrical excitation of mercury vapor inside the tube, these photons strike the phosphers atoms, raising their energy state forcing them to emit photons in the same direction as the photon that struct them in the visible light range. As the photons created by the excitation of the mercury are random .. the resulting "white" light is random as well .. hence not polarized ...
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook