# Understanding Parallel and Perpendicular Polarization of Waves

• banker16
In summary, the conversation discusses the concepts of parallel and perpendicular polarizations in relation to the plane of incidence. It is explained that the terms p-like and s-like refer to the components of the electric field parallel and perpendicular to this plane, respectively. The connection between these concepts and the plane of incidence is further clarified.
banker16
I am reading a book about radomes and am confused about what is meant by parallel and perpendicular polarizations. I am familiar with vertical and horizontal. I am having trouble determining the connection between them. Anyone?

It should indicate parallel and perpendicular to what.

It is referring to the plane of incidence. So I think that if I have a vertically polarized source horn and cut in the h plane then I am parallel to the plane of incidence on a flat panel. It is still a little coudy, but I think that is correct.

Another coordinate system frequently used relates to the plane made by the propagation direction and a vector normal to the plane of a reflecting surface. This is known as the plane of incidence. The rays in this plane are illustrated in the diagram to the right. The component of the electric field parallel to this plane is termed p-like (parallel) and the component perpendicular to this plane is termed s-like...
I found this reference to parallel polarization on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polarization"

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1.

## What is the difference between parallel and perpendicular polarization of waves?

Parallel polarization refers to when the electric field of a wave is aligned in the same direction as the direction of propagation. Perpendicular polarization, on the other hand, refers to when the electric field is perpendicular to the direction of propagation.

2.

## How do you determine the polarization of a wave?

The polarization of a wave can be determined by measuring the direction of the electric field of the wave. If the direction of the electric field is constant, the wave is said to be linearly polarized. If the direction of the electric field changes over time, the wave is said to be circularly or elliptically polarized.

3.

## Why is understanding parallel and perpendicular polarization important?

Understanding polarization is important in various fields such as optics, telecommunications, and astronomy. It allows us to control and manipulate the properties of waves, leading to advancements in technology and scientific research.

4.

## Can a wave have both parallel and perpendicular polarization?

No, a wave can only have one type of polarization at a time. However, the polarization of a wave can change when it interacts with certain materials or passes through certain mediums.

5.

## What are some real-world applications of parallel and perpendicular polarization?

Parallel and perpendicular polarization have numerous applications in everyday life. For example, polarized sunglasses use perpendicular polarization to reduce glare from sunlight. In telecommunications, parallel polarization is used to reduce interference between signals. In astronomy, the polarization of light from celestial objects can reveal important information about their composition and structure.

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