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Light Orientation and Glare

  1. Mar 26, 2012 #1
    Hi, sorry if this is a bad question - I'm not very good at physics.

    We polarize sunglasses vertically because of glare reflecting off of a horizontal surface orients the waves in a horizontal pattern. Is it possible to experience vertical glare in a natural environment? Like off of a glass building or something. Or is glare always horizontal because of the position of the sun?

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 26, 2012 #2


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    Glare can be at any angle, it just depends on the surface it reflects from.
  4. Mar 26, 2012 #3
    On shiny nonconducting surfaces, incident light is partially polarized by reflection near Brewster's angle. This reflection can be off of glass, painted surfaces, and even water. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brewster's_angle.

    Also, blue sky light due to Rayleigh scattering is polarized at 90 degrees from the Sun. At noon when the sun is located at the zenith, the circle of polarized light wraps around the horizon. Therefore the sky is polarized horizontally along the horizon. Near sunrise ans sunset, this circle is defined by the effective North-Zenith-South plane.
  5. Mar 26, 2012 #4
    Thanks guys. :)
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