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Polarized Electromagnetic Waves

  1. Nov 5, 2013 #1
    Hey guys.

    From my textbook, I understand that linear polarization occurs when the phase between components of an electric field wave (and thereby the magnetic field wave) are zero. Elliptical polarization occurs when the magnitude of the components comprising a field wave is not equal in magnitude. Furthermore, circular polarization occurs when the magnitudes are equal.

    My question is this: if we know that a wave is travelling in the z-direction, what is meant if we are told the wave is polarized in x?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 5, 2013 #2

    Andy Resnick

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    It means the electric field points in the x-direction.
  4. Nov 5, 2013 #3
    Thank you so much!
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