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Polarization of light and sunglasses

  1. May 3, 2012 #1
    Light coming from the sun is unpolarised therefore the electromagnetic field is moving randomly along the direction of propagation .

    When light is polarised this means that the photons vibrate in one plane , but how can this happen ? it means that either one of the electric or magnetic fields must be cut out , is that right ?

    When light strikes a water surface then some rays will be polarized parallel to the surface but then if sunglasses were made of material that only lets light in vertically then we should see nothing ?!
  2. jcsd
  3. May 3, 2012 #2


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    Polarized light does not consist of photons vibrating in a plane. The electromagnetic wave itself is polarized. Neither of the fields are cut out, both exist.

    Only some of the waves are. The rest are not polarized horizontally.
  4. May 3, 2012 #3


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    Perpendicular to direction of propagation.

    Only at Brewster's Angle does reflected light become perfectly polarized. At any other angle, you still have both the horizontal and vertical components remaining. The vertical component simply happens to be attenuated.
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