Polarization characterizes the oscillations in time the electromagnetic field is doing in the plane perpendicular to the propagation direction of a wave

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Polarization in Nicol prism

My book reads "When unpolarized light is incident on nicol prism (made of 2 crystals joined by Canada balsam a type of glue) it divides into 2 rays, both rays are plane polarized and electric field ...
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351 views

Partially polarized light with jones vectors?

I have read that polarized light is treated by Jones vectors and that to treat partially polarized light you have to use Stokes vectors and mueller matrices. Nonetheless, the optics notes that my ...
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Superposition principle and polarization

I am reading an optics book (Physics of Light and Optics by Peatross and Ware) that asserts this: A beam of light can always be considered as an intensity sum of completely unpolarized light and ...
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76 views

Creating small polarised scientific lenses?

How would I go about creating small polarised scientific lenses? Thinking 5mm by 5mm, with a light-source behind it for the purposes of reducing (polarised) surface reflection (assisted with a ...
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98 views

How to explain polarization in Zeeman effect

In the Zeeman effect, when we observe along the $B$ field, the polarization of light should be circular polarized. It can be understood by the conservation of angular momentum. $\Delta m=0$ can not be ...
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101 views

How is the orientation of an electromagnetic wave determined?

I was looking up for how polarisers work, I understood mostly everything except the part that explains that the polariser filters everything except light that is in a certain orientation. Here are my ...
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350 views

Polarized sunglasses: should the axes in both lenses be parallel?

See the pictures below. A pair of sunglasses I recently purchased has the polarization axis in one lens offset about 20 degrees (by eyeball estimation) from the other. I don't have much experience ...
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177 views

Difference in perception of unpolarized and polarized light

What is the difference in perception of polarized light and unpolarized light? What difference does polarized light cause to our eyes?
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180 views

gauge invariance of the Feynman amplitudes

When we calculate the photon polarization sums over amplitudes, $$X=\sum\limits_{r=1}^{2}|\mathcal M_r|^2=\mathcal M_\alpha\mathcal M_\beta^*\sum\limits_{r=1}^{2}\epsilon_r^\alpha\epsilon_r^\beta$$ ...
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64 views

Is it possible for a material to have a polarization field greater than the applied field?

In the case of a dielectric (LIH at least, since that is all I've studied), the polarization field is always less than the applied field. In the case of a conductor, the polarization field is equal ...
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176 views

Is the third spin vector of a photon always suppressed?

I like to tell people interested in light polarization that the photon is a vector boson for which the third spin axis, the one in the direction of travel, is suppressed due to photons being massless ...
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64 views

Can coherent light also be polarized?

I need to know if it is possible to polarize coherent light using a Wollaston prism. And would the resultant (2) beams of polarized light still be individually coherent?
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73 views

Can polarization effect the coherence length?

I'm taking an optics lab in which I'm required to construct an interferometer, and measure the wavelength of a laser, and the coherence length of the light emitted from a candle fire. Now, I've been ...
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374 views

Relation between the spin of a particle and the polarization of it's wave

Is there any intrinsic relation between the spin of a particle, and the degree of freedom of it's polarization? does it holds for any particle-wave couple? like EM-photon, ...
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If photons carry 1 spin unit, why does visible light seem to have no angular momentum?

Spin 1 silver atoms have a definite spin axis, e.g. up or down along an axis labeled X. This in turn means that they carry angular momentum in an overt, visible fashion. However, spin 1 photons do ...
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808 views

Counting degrees of freedom of gauge bosons

Gauge bosons are represented by $A_{\mu}$, where $\mu = 0,1,2,3$. So in general there are 4 degrees of freedom. But in reality, a photon (gauge boson) has two degrees of freedom (two polarization ...
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189 views

Coulomb gauge and two degrees of freedom of EM field

The EM field has two possible polarizations, which is caused by spin-one nature of field (leads to the Lorenz gauge) and massless of the field. Really, the Klein-Gordon equations for the EM field $$ ...
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543 views

Why depolarization of light by scattering

I am trying to understand the concept of depolarization of light by various particle shapes. For example, depolarization light scattered (re radiated) from a sphere illuminated with vertically ...
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93 views

Depolarisation of Light in Optical Fibre

I have a question for which I can't seem to find a solid answer in literature and wondered if anyone could offer advice or reliable references please: How does light depolarise in ...
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96 views

Reflection of a polarised beam

The past days I've been trying to understand how AutoFocus(AF) works on photographic cameras. There is a statement that says AF systems are polarisation sensitive. This means that they can only work ...
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Why is the $S_{z} =0$ state forbidden for photons?

If photons are spin-1 bosons, then doesn't quantum mechanics imply that the allowed values for the z-component of spin (in units of $\hbar$) are -1, 0, and 1? Why then in practice do we only use the ...
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232 views

electric field of unpolarized light after reflect?

Reflection and transmission (Fresnel equation) of polarized light are treated in many optics or electromagnetism books. If $E_s$ and $E_p$ is incident electric field with s-polarization and ...
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775 views

Are these sunglass lenses linearly polarized or what?

This is a difficult question to phrase, so please bear with me. I found some cheap sunglasses and pulled out the plastic lenses which are polarized. For clarity, I have labeled them as lens-1 and -2 ...
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354 views

Looking at an iPhone through a Polarizer

Maybe this is more of an Electrical Engineering question, but does anyone know why iPhones looking green/red through a linear polarizer? I find it strange that the light coming out would be ...
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315 views

Formula for Rabi frequency

I have calculated the dipole transition elements of electronic states $\langle a|D_1^m|b \rangle$ following the book of Cohen-Tannoudji (Complement $E_X$) and tried then to calculate from that the ...
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241 views

double slit experiment with two opposite quarter waveplates

Consider the usual double slit experiment involving laser and a double slit and a screen. Now place in front of the left slit a quarter waveplate (let's call it QWP1) that changes a certain linear ...
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Same Plane Polarization of Light

When light impacts a surface, how does it know what direction to be polarized? I'd prefer a conceptual answer, there are randomly polarized photons impacting random molecules that can be randomly ...
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280 views

Coherency matrix of partially polarized light doesn't contain all information on polarization state?

The electric field of quasi-monochromatic, partially polarized light can be expressed by the following random process (Goodman, Statistical optics) ...
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56 views

Charge in a layered ball

A ball (radius $R$) has three layers. For $0<r<a$ it is a conductor with free charge $+Q$. For $a<r<b$ it is a linear dielectric $\epsilon$ with free charge embedded in it with density ...
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209 views

Interaction of polarized beam to optical active substance

Kostyas question for angular momentum and half wave plates Half wave plate and angular momentum made me think a little bit. It took me some seconds to "swallow" the answer. :=) Then I started to ...
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105 views

Relationship between photon polarization and photon angular momentum

What direction is the angular momentum of right hand polarized light points to? Is it vertical to its propagating direction? I want to recognize this in quantum theory.
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Doubts concerning Wigner's classification

Wigner classified particles in function of the eigenvalues of $P_\mu P^\mu$ and $W_\mu W^\mu$. Then, it can be proved that for massless particles spin values can be only $\pm s_{max}$. But for a ...
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297 views

Why electric field outside the sphere that carries polarization is 0?

There is a sphere with radius $R$ that carries a polarization $$\vec P(\vec{r})=k\vec r$$ $\vec r$ is the vector from the center. I found electric field the outside generated by the sphere is $\vec ...
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148 views

How can a Jones vector give linear polarization along an axis?

If we represent a Jones vector by two complex-valued exponentials, $J_1 = e^{i \phi_1}$ and $J_2 = e^{i \phi_2}$, how can this ever give a polarization along the x-axis? We write such a polarization ...
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598 views

Three polarizers, 45° apart

If light is passed through two polarizing filters before arriving at a target, and both of the filters are oriented at 90° to each other, then no light will be received at the target. If a third ...
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coordinate change differential equation polar

I noticed that v [in step (2.5)] is not the same as the terms from the first formula, even if they are related.. I tried to understand how did he reach to this ...
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How does a photon leave trace of its polarization state in a photon detector but not trace of which direction it came in?

Some quantum erasure experiments involve polarization of photons. In one such experiment with a double slit, a horizontal polarizer is used in front of one slit, and a vertical polarizer is used for ...
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228 views

Filter out polarized light

Unpolarized light enters the polarizer and gets polarized at one certain angle. If we place an analyzer behind the polarizer and align them, we observe that all light is transmitted. If we rotate the ...
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Will freely rotatable polarizers align?

Will two freely rotatable linear polarizers (placed in sequence and at some angular offset less than, say, 45 degrees) eventually align if you shine (plenty of) unpolarized light at the first one? If ...
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379 views

Monochromatic wave

If we have an EM wave like this one: $$E=\begin{pmatrix}1\\i\\0\end{pmatrix}e^{-i(\omega t-kz)}$$ The wave has clearly only one frequency $\omega$, but is it monochromatic? My doubt is that it's ...
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Is the spin state of an atom related to the polarization of the photon it spontaneously emits?

From literature I've been reading, I find that scientists are able to "map" atomic states onto photon states. Are they talking about spin states and corresponding photon polarization states? Can ...
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137 views

Defining a local polarization field in a distribution of charge

I am currently building a theoretical model where charges of opposite signs are created by pairs and then diffuse and are drifted by an electrical field. I am taking this along a single so far, for ...
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Why does it seem like a broken magnet's poles flip?

I just took a rare earth magnet out of an old hard drive. Lacking an appropriate screwdriver, force was used, and the magnet broke into two pieces; one about a quarter of the original size and one ...
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274 views

What is a photon's speed inside a dieletric?

We know that EM waves are slowed down in a dielectric. But at what speed does the photons that make up the wave travel? Do they always travel at the speed $c$, but colliding/being absorbed and ...
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645 views

Circular polarization: properties and detection

I am thinking about the property of circular polarization of light. I have two circularly polarized beams, one is rounding in positive direction, other is negative. My task is to figure out: if ...
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849 views

determine the direction of the polarizing axis

I want to calculate the direction of the polarizing axis of a single polarizer.Is it possible to determine? If possible then How I can determine it?.
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3D movie glasses making white light look red and blue

While waiting for a 3D movie to start, I was playing with the glasses they give you. I understand each lens has different polarized filters, so the left and right superimposed images on the screen go ...
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162 views

Circular Polarization

As one observes an clockwise (cw) circular polarized electromagnetic wave which is reflected off a denser medium or metal interface it is changed to a counter-clockwise (CCW) polarized em wave plus a ...
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Why Does Light Not Become Polarized In A Magnetic and/or Electric Field?

I am familiar with the Faraday Effect, but I remain confused as to why the electric and/or magnetic components of light do not naturally align themselves with a magnetic or electric field (in a ...
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277 views

Is it possible to split a single light beam into two beams of opposite circular polarization?

A properly oriented calcite crystal will separate an unpolarized beam into two beams, one vertically polarized and one horizontally polarized. Other polarizers pass just one polarization and absorb ...