Question about wire-grid polarizers

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

Hi, I'm new to this forum, and am not a genius in any way, so I hope you'll be patient with me.

I've been reading up on petrographic microscopes and understand that unpolarized light is filtered through a polarizer in order to get the EM wave electric fields to oscillate in the same direction. As the unpolarized light hits the wire-grid polarizer, those waves that are parallel with the metallic wire in the polarizer will be absorbed/reflected due to the electric fields interactions with the electrons in the wire. Those EM wave electric fields which are perpendicular to the direction of the wire-grid polarizer will be able to pass through it. My question is: What about those waves that are at a diagonal? Will they be able to pass through or not, and why? Every diagram that I have seen shows that ONLY the waves that are perpendicular to the direction of the wire-grid polarizer will pass through, and any deviation will result in those waves being absorbed/reflected.

If anyone can help me with this, it would be greatly appreciated!
 

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  • #2
Please let me know if I'm even making sense!

:redface:
 
  • #3
mgb_phys
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
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The diagonal waves are just made up of vertical and horizontal (or rather can be resolved into H+V)
A 45deg diagonal is equal H and V and so on.
 
  • #4
I think I get it now. Their perpendicular components make it through, while their parallel components are absorbed/reflected.
 
Last edited:

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