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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Linear polarized 3D glasses and the physical shape of light waves

Looking into how linear polarized 3D glasses work, I keep getting explanations that boil down to this: However, I always assumed that a light wave was depicted in diagrams like this... ...to more ...
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Is polarization a stable state?

Do a polarized light beam stays polarized over large distance or does it kind of relax and eventually become unpolarized?
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Recognizing linear or polarized light and seeing its direction

I was watching Walter Lewin's course, and he said he learned a way to see and recognize polarized or linear light. And i wonder what it might be? What is the tricks?
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Optics - Faraday Rotator using waveplates

I'm trying to replicate the effect of a 45° Faraday rotator using a series of waveplates instead. I've encountered some difficulties using the jones matrix notation, the main book I'm using is: ...
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About partially polarized light and the degree of polariztion

When I was taking Optics course, I found there were several questions about polarization of light. I use the textbook of Hecht. It seems that the definition of degree of polarization may be not so ...
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251 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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Which photons pass through a circular annulus?

Passing light through a circular sieve: Well, actually, let’s think about radar or microwaves with a wavelength of order a centimeter or two, so you can tailor your aperture, say by etching a silver ...
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222 views

Decoherence of a Coherent Beam

If retarding films (i.e. wave plates) can retard the electric components of light (based on the films thickness) without affecting it's direction, couldn't I use a retarding film of randomly varying ...
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66 views

Polarisation by Reflection - oscillation direction

I'm currently studying polarisation by reflection, and have come across two pieces of information from the same source, which I can't seem to understand on how they differ. The oscillation direction ...
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139 views

Polarization in Lasers and Liquid Crystal Displays

When we talk about Polarization in Lasers we mean placement of the crystal at Brewster angle to block the s-polarization and only the p-polarization will survive. How do we compare the term ...
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Electric field inside a material

I was thinking about the polarisation, and how the electric field behaves inside the material of permittivity greater than one. I think to have understood what happens to D and P, but is not clear ...
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Electric polarization in terms of berry phase?

I was reading a text in which Electric polarization in terms of Berry phase was defined as $P=\frac{e}{2\pi}\sum_{n}\int A_n (k) dk$ under gauge transformation $P\rightarrow P+ne$ (which means ...
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58 views

What sort of polarisation causes this effect

By some chance I acquired a pair of specialized '3d' glasses to be used in conjunction with a poster, such that when viewing the poster (which was a map of australia) the contours popped in and out of ...
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Detecting Polarization States of Quantum Field

(Background) In the scenario where a gauge symmetry is spontaneously broken and the gauge field eats the Goldstone boson to acquire a mass, the massive gauge field acquires a longitudinal ...
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161 views

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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386 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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352 views

Non-polarised light

We know the beam of light oscillates in electric field and magnetic field, both perpendicular to both the wave of propagation and each other. What does, however, a non-polarised beam of light look ...
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689 views

Is the output of a laser pointer polarized or not?

How to verify it? Is a laser necessarily polarized? I have a laser pointer with wavelength 532nm in hand.
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Can a beam splitter distinguish between more than two polarizations?

The following is based on a very basic understanding of lasers, that may be approximate or altogether completely erroneous. Given a (single-mode) laser beam, a beam-splitting polarizer ...
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473 views

Partially polarized light in laboratory

Does anybody know a way to create (in laboratory, but with no super-sophisticated equipement) a beam of light with partial linear polarization whose degree of polarization can be adjusted (at least ...
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958 views

Unpolarized light vs. randomly rotating polarized light?

I am confused with physical picture about unpolarized light. Is unpolarized light very fast rotating polarized light? or co-existing state of two orthogonal polarization? (or something else?) If ...
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Is the polarization of light changed by gravity?

The Gravitational_redshift shows, that the wavelength of light gets altered in a gravitational field. But what about polarization of light? I imagine that e.g. by tidal forces circular polarized light ...
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121 views

Mirror that flips polarisation?

Is it possible to build a mirror which not just reflects a photon but also flips its polarisation from horizontal tho vertical (or vice versa)? The reason why I ask is the following: If I put an ...
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248 views

Why are results of Bell's experiments considered to “break realism”?

Related to my previous question (Why would classical correlation in Bell's experiment be a linear function of angle?), as a newbie in quantum mechanics, I am also unable to find the reason to why ...
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Polarization of light upon reflection

I was wondering (since I've looked pretty hard and haven't been able to find anything)- are there any models that explain the polarization of light upon reflection? Everywhere I've looked I've seen ...
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401 views

Can a single photon be polarized non-linearly?

I want to check if I correctly understand polarization. Considering a single photon travelling in vacuum, it can only be polarized linearly under the same direction at any time, right? When we talk ...
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127 views

Interference of two differently polarised beams

I would like to ask how the result of interference changes with the change of polarisation angle difference? Obviously we get the best results for 2 parallel polarised beams, and no intensity ...
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394 views

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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101 views

Optics phenomenon with my glasses?

When I look through my glasses toward the extreme left, a very odd and intriguing phenomenon occurs: The border of everything I see is lined with a hazy blue lining on the left and a hazy yellow ...
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Does polarization remove any of the fields completely?

A light is made up of electric and magnetic fields oriented perpendicular to each other. Can polarization lead to the removal of any of the fields completely?
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Faraday rotation effect in circularly polarized waves?

We all know farady effect is observed in linearly polarized wave when it passes through a dielectric medium and magnetic field is along the direction of propagation. Is this phenomenon observable in ...
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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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830 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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52 views

Polarization of light for a fast moving observer

For a fast moving observer the frequency of light becomes shifted due to the (relativistic) Doppler effect. But what about the polarization of the light? Could it be, that e.g. circular polarized ...
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88 views

Linear and circular polarization in quantization of the EM field

I am going through the "Quantization of the EM field" in Chapter 7 of Sakurai's Modern Quantum Mechanics, which basically goes like: The vector potential satisfies wave function $\nabla^2\mathbf ...
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30 views

Absorbative polarisers

Absorbative polarisers are one way of getting linearly polarised light from an unpolarised beam. The key idea is that these materials are manufactured such that light can be absorbed in all ...
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352 views

Graviton polarization in higher dimensions

It's not difficult to see that the graviton in $D$ spacetime dimensions has $(D-3)D/2$ polarizations. In $D=4$ there are two $\epsilon^{\pm}_{\mu\nu}$. What I find curious is that in $D=4$ I can ...
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301 views

Can horizontally and vertically polarized light combine to become circularly/elliptically polarized light?

Well, we know that circularly/elliptically polarized light is made up from orthogonal components. So is it possible then to create circularly/elliptically polarized light by combining horizontally and ...
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Admixtures of longitudinal and timelike photons!

In the quantization of electromagnetic field the physical states $|\psi\rangle$ are found to obey the following relation: $[a^{(0)}(k)-a^{(3)}(k)]|\psi\rangle=0$ It is explained as the physical ...
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Circularly polarized light incident at Brewster's Angle

If a perfectly circularly polarized wave of light is incident on a dielectric medium (coming from air) at Brewster's Angle, what will the polarization state of the transmitted wave be? I am aware ...
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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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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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124 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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381 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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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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What do the $T, E, B$ in polarization spectra mean?

I was reading about CMB Polarization here. I know that $E$ and $B$ stand for E-mode and B-mode, but what does the $T$ mean? The author states that there are 3 observables: $T, E, B$ and six spectra: ...
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which is correct way to find error in degree of linear polarization?

I have a set of "degree of polarization (DOP)" values for a star. Assume there are 10 DOP values in the set. DOP is defined as square root of sum of squares of fractional Stokes parameters, namely q ...
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70 views

Counting modes Rayleigh-Jeans

In the derivation of the Rayleigh-Jeans Law, we count the number of EM modes in a square cavity. After calculating the number of allowed modes due to boundary conditions, we multiply it by a factor of ...
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Compact Disc Optics - Why use a linear polariser and a quarter wave plate?

I just came across this website about the application of a quarter wave plate. Link: Compact Disc Optics. My question is why does the beam need to be linearly and then circularly polarised before ...
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Is polarization of a wave just a description of its motion in three dimensions?

Since a polarization of the wave is described by complex numbers, we can try to give that mathematical formalism geometrical meaning. With having two different axes, one imaginary and other real, it ...