Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

What is polorization

  1. Sep 13, 2007 #1
    what is it exactly? is it the direction of the electric field when an electromagnetic wave propagates in a certain direction?
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 13, 2007 #2
    If you were to measure the E-field at a fixed point as an EM wave moves past, you would find that the field oscillates in a particular direction. That direction is the polarization.
  4. Sep 13, 2007 #3
    Well PolArisation is a term used to describe a phenomena found in all Transverse Waves. Now remember that transverse waves move in a direction but their displacement is perpendicular. Now what if these perpendicular displacements were in all directions - i.e. one perpendicular displacement at a certain angle and another at a different one etc. Now Polarisation only lets 1 of those perpendicular displacements through.

    I hope I explained clearly. Nevertheless remember that Light is not only made of 1 Plane wave displacement... It is made of multiple ones. Now a Polaroid Polariser lets only one of those Displacements through...
  5. Sep 13, 2007 #4
    (the underlined part is what i am emphasizing)

    which one would it let though or rather how do you determine which will be let through, and also i am unclear about the fact that whether what the polaroid polarizer does is in fact polarization or not?
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook