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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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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198 views

If light is linearly polarized, does it have some spatial extent?

If light (a photon) is linearly polarized, say vertically, does it have some vertical spatial extent (perhaps in amplitude)?
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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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260 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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119 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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255 views

Polarization Measurement

Assume having a laser beam which is horizontal linear polarized. As one measure the sqrt(intensity) transmitted through a rotatable linear polarizer its pattern corresponds to a cosine. Plotting this ...
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228 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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146 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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310 views

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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215 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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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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160 views

How would one generate Brownian light? What would it look like?

When light is an equal mix of all visible frequencies, we call it white light. By analogy, sound that is a mix of all audible frequencies is called white noise. For sound, there is an additional ...
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454 views

Jones vector and matrices

With Jones vectors and matrices one can describe the change in polarization of a EM wave. What is the convention of the reference coordinate system; Is it fixed or does it change whenever the ...
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103 views

Measuring the quantum state of light

A clarification please The following scheme to measure linear polarization states (a single polarizing beam splitter and two photo counters) orientation (as $arctan \sqrt{\frac{v}{h}}$) of coherent ...
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638 views

Circular polarization of variable-frequency light by 3D cinema glasses

A dominant method to obtain 3D images in the cinemas seems to be circular polarization. Separate pictures are projected with (alternating) circular polarization filters and passive glasses of the ...
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173 views

Polarization photon and Stokes parameters

I have the following situation: About the polarization of the photon, I introduce the basis: Horizontal polarization $|\leftrightarrow>=\binom{1}{0}$ Vertical polarization ...
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1answer
109 views

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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250 views

Strange light polarization effect?

I spent a while working with MgF2-windowed xenon flash / discharge lamps. Primarily, I characterized their spectra with two normal-incidence spectrometers against a calibrated Deuterium lamp. In this ...
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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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Representing a polarization vector for light as a 'manifold of two state'

Explain me these projections please Context: I was reading a paper (Phys. Rev. A 68, 052307) which involved mesoscopic coherent states of light. There, in order to calculate the uncertainty of a ...
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732 views

about waveplate and polarization

I have a throlabs half- and quarter-wave plate with rotation plate. There shown the angle scales and a line denotes the fast axis. But what does the angle mean? I do some research and someone said the ...
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489 views

Why does the electric field dominate in light?

I read a book on the wave property of light where the author mentioned that the electric field, instead of magnetic field, dominates the light property. I don't understand why. In Maxwell's theory, a ...
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2answers
516 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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1answer
178 views

about polarization of light

In the course of circuits and electronics, I remember there is an experiment to show the polarization of the wave as lissajous figures. I am wondering for polarized laser, is there any way to ...
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Reason for the convention about polarization states

I'd like to know if there is a special reason for limiting convention of polarization state to waves that can be split in just two components of equal frequency.
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384 views

Are circular polarizations a basis for any light polarization?

I was trying to solve an exercise in classical optics, consisting in finding the type polarization of certain field profiles. And, by analyzing this one: $$E_x(z,t) = |E|sin(kz-\omega t)\\ ...
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3answers
890 views

Liquid crystal shutter with >90% transmission?

Today's liquid crystal shutter glasses, when in the "transparent" state, exhibit only 40% light transmission. They work using two polarizer layers, one which is liquid crystal and goes {vertical ...
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311 views

Is there a simple model explaining Faraday effect?

I find magneto-optical effects fascinating, and especially the Faraday effect. But most sources only give a phenomenological description, while I want a deeper explanation of its mechanism. Is there a ...
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241 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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What are the properties of the partially polarized light on refraction?

When a ray of ordinary light is passed on the surface of the water the reflected light will be completely polarized( vibrations in one plane). My question is what will be plane of vibration in the ...
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Polarization true or false: Repeating circular filters is different from repeating linear filters?

Begin with standard abbreviations for polarized filters: H = Horizontal, V= Vertical, D = Diagonal, R = Right circular. HHH means three horizontal filters in a row. Start with totally unpolarized ...
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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 ...
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217 views

Can you prepare the superposition of two arbitrary light beams?

More specifically, how do you physically prepare the superposition of two beams of polarized light? Suppose beam A and beam B, the two input beams, each have unknown polarizations. Beam C, the ...
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2answers
190 views

Liquid crystal polarizes light reflection question

I was hoping someone could help me with understanding why a row of polarizes reflects a light wave when the whole row is the same length as the wavelength of the light. I pretty much get the ...
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1answer
376 views

Electromagnetic field of unpolarized light

I need help in finding an expression for the instantaneous electric and magnetic field of unpolarized light in order to write down and evaluate the time-averaged norm of the Poynting vector (i.e. the ...
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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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666 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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Is reversal of magnetic polarity in a planet an instantaneous occurence?

Just what the title states - Does reversal of magnetic poles in a planet refer to the point in time when reversal is complete? OR Does it refer to the entire drawn out process (assuming the ...
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Does infrared rays pass through polarized glass?

Actually I had asked in another post that "Does infrared rays pass through active shutter glass" but someone just commented that infrared rays dont pass through polarized glass. If infrared rays ...
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How does one calculate the quantum propagator for a massless photon

So I want to calculate the quantum massless photon propagator. To do this, I write $$ A_\mu(x) = \sum\limits_{i=1}^2 \int \frac{d^3p}{(2\pi)^3} \frac{1}{\sqrt{2\omega_p}} \left( \epsilon_\mu^i (p) ...
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Why do polarized sunglasses remove (most) reflections on car windows?

Why do polarized sunglasses remove (most) reflections on car windows? I know that both lenses of polarized sunglasses are polarized in the same direction and I can see that reflections in my own ...
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Are two polarization states of light coherent?

Let's consider a situation: we have distant point source of unpolarized light in certain non-zero range of wavelengths (it's polychromatic). Let's divide this light into 2 beams depending on ...
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How many photons does it take to measure a linear polarization?

A star emits perfectly (100%) linearly polarized light at an arbitrary angle. How many photons must you detect to measure this angle to a precision of n binary digits? (with greater than 50% ...
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Is putting a charged balloon up to a neutral wall polarization AND temporary induction, or just polarization?

Is putting a balloon that is charged up against a wall and having it stick polarization AND charging by temporary induction, or just polarization?
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174 views

Quantum Cryptography

First question was a little bit ambiguous. Photons are passed through a linear polarizer that is oriented $\theta$ degrees again the photon passes through another linear polarizer that also have a ...
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351 views

Is there orbital angular momentum for all particles?

Light as an electromagnetic wave can be polarized in different ways, e.g. linear or circular. As far as I understand it currently this can be compared to the spin direction of a propagation electron ...
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780 views

How to compute the intensity of a polarized wave going through a polaroid?

If an electromagnetic wave is linearly polarized, the intensity of the light that goes through a polaroid is proportional to the square of the cosine of the angle between the polarization plane and ...
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Polarization rotation: Jones Matrix that maps Horizontal to right circular

I am looking at the Poincaré sphere and I am trying to compute a Jones matrix for a particular rotation. Specifically, I would like it to perform the following maps: $O :|H \rangle \rightarrow |R ...
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75 views

Spatial and polarizing beam splitters in a graphical calculus

Suppose I have four wires, and I tensor product them together $A \otimes B \otimes C \otimes D$ I pass $A \otimes B$ through a spatial beam splitter $Spl: A \otimes B \rightarrow A^\prime \otimes ...
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Reflected optical rotation of polarised light

Assume polarised light travels through an optically active medium (e.g. water with lots of sugar) with the specific angle $\alpha_s$ of depth $d$ at which end it is reflected (so in total it travels ...