- The term polarization refers to the orientation of the plane of the disturbance in a transverse wave.
- Light and all electromagnetic waves can be polarized.
- Sound and other longitudinal waves cannot be polarized.
- A transverse wave is said to have…
- no polarization or to be unpolarized if its polarization changes quickly and randomly.
- linear polarization if its polarization does not change; for example…
- circular polarization if its polarization rotates.
- elliptical polarization if it has both
linear and circular polarization.
- Methods for tranforming unpolarized light into polarized light include…
- reflection from a dielectric surface
- scattering off the molecules in a fluid (or small particles suspended in a fluid)
- transmission through a dichroic, crystalline solid
- transmission through a birefringent, crystalline solid