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Polarizing angle help

  1. Nov 30, 2008 #1

    Im an engineering student having trouble with the polarization concepts.

    So lets say you have a ray of light traveling and it travels through a polarizing film with its respect to the horizontal, now only the x-component of the light vector passes through...

    I believe my understanding of this is wrong..But understand I do know the idea behind the ray being an oscillating wave etc...

    So first off, how can the polarizing angle only allow an x-component of something which is oscillating up and down, without preventing further oscillation?

    Secondly, in the classic case of three polarizers with the middle being rotated to allow light to pass through all three, my confusion deepens.

    If my previous theory were correct (which I do not believe it to be)... Then the first film would allow lets say only the x component through. Then does the middle 45 degree tilted film somehow rotate the x-direction moving vector of light to more of an x=y type slope, then the third allows only the y-direction vector through?

    I do not believe I am going about thinking of this in the proper manner, I was hoping someone on here could understand my view point and perhaps see where I am misunderstanding...

    Thanks for any help
  2. jcsd
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