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!

Polarization confusion

  1. Jun 9, 2007 #1
    Can anyone clearly say what is the difference between plane of polarization and plane of vibration?
    I know what is the latter.It is the plane containig E and k vectors.But Regarding the first one I am a bit confused:Different literatures treat them differently...Sometimes it appears that they are the same and sometimes it appears that it is perpendicular to the direction of k.That is the plane where the E field appears linear/circular/elliptical.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 12, 2007 #2

    Claude Bile

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    The plane of polarisation is the plane defined by E and k.

    I think the confusion here stems from the fact that it is possible to polarisation to vary as a function of position, for example fibre-optic modes are typically radially (E pointing radially outward) and tangentially polarised. In these cases, the plane of polarisation will also vary as a function of position, thus it can be somewhat of a hindrance describing the polarisation of such modes using planes. A better way to show the polarisation of the mode is to plot the polarisation as a function of position, which is why you see plenty of graphs with coordinate planes that are perpendicular to k. I don't agree though that this is the plane where E appears linear/circular/elliptical though - E can only be shown to rotate using a 3D graph or some other parametric space, not in a cartesian plane.

    Claude.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Polarization confusion
  1. Confusion ? (Replies: 1)

Loading...