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Polarization of laptop display

  1. Aug 13, 2010 #1
    so I'm using my laptop outside while also wearing polarized sunglasses. I've only taken up thru physics 2 and it's the summer so ( ) and I'm not mentally on my A game so to speak. But I want to know if my impression here is close to correct or the real explanation if not.

    from certain angles and positions* relative to the screen portions of the glasses block the image on the screen completely, instead showing a reflexion on the screen (as though the computer were turned off).

    does this mean something about the polarization of the light that my laptop screen emits or is the answer somewhat different? If yes to the former, why would all the polarization be the same?

    *I'm talking about my head and when I speak of positions and my face when I refer to angles. In this post I'm only referring to instances in which removing the glasses would give me a clear view of the "black" spot.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 13, 2010 #2
    The (basic) way LCD screens work is to have to polarization filters and a liquid crystal fluid in between. Depending on a voltage applied to the pixel, the LC fluid will rotate the polarization of the light entering from behind to a varying degree - basically either so that it passes the 2nd filter or that it doesn't (making the pixel black). So the light coming out of your display should be polarized in the plane of the 2nd filter - assuming your display uses this technique. It's rather obvious but still interesting that you can see this with polarized sunglasses.
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