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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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
179 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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3k views

Intensity of unpolarized light through polarizer

When unpolarized light is polarized with two polarizers, the intensity becomes $I=I_ocos^2(θ)$ (Malus's law). But when unpolarized light is polarized with only one polarizer, the intensity is reduced ...
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400 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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3answers
571 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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1answer
116 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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207 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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1answer
52 views

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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89 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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175 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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1answer
834 views

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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865 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
624 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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1k views

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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46 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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1answer
31 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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1answer
72 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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1answer
29 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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1answer
185 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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1answer
181 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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157 views

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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921 views

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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1answer
802 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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2answers
522 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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1answer
119 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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1answer
327 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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1answer
1k 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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What does electric field of unpolarized light look like when measured?

When we talk about fermions in mixed state, we say that their state can't be described by a wavefunction and just compute all the probabilities using density matrix. That's OK because the ...
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57 views

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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76 views

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 ...
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39 views

What is weak coupling of photon polarization to a pointer?

This question is refered to those who are familiar with the concept of weak measurement. In short: How can the polarization of a photon be coupled to the position of a pointer state? What is the ...
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50 views

How to formulate collapse in polarization subspace of a photon?

I am wondering how to describe the collapse of a photon state when it is measured in the polarization degree of freedom (say by a filter which let pass just one particular polarisation). Let the free ...
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41 views

Electron propagator in a strong background B field

Near a magnetar with $B>B_\rm{QED}$, the strong B field will suppress the Compton scattering cross section of photons with a specific polarization (E-mode). Some references I know deal this problem ...
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1answer
48 views

My glasses seem to be polarizing the light when they want. What is happening?

When I put the glasses on and I look at my computer monitor and I turn in a certain angle everything becomes black. When I do it on my laptop screen though I need a different angle. Finally when I ...
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224 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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129 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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110 views

How do photons “decide”?

I was reading that when horizontally polarized light hits a vertical Polaroid all the light is blocked out. But when the Polaroid is off the vertical, some but not all photons "decide" to jump into ...
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527 views

Passing Polarized light through multiple polarizers in series

This is a question that has been troubling me from many days: Suppose we pass a linearly polarized light through a system of 3 successive polarizers. The 1st polarizer is offset 30$^{\circ}$ from the ...
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122 views

Does the transmission axis matter for sending polarized light through polarized glass?

If I have polarized light and I send through only one polarized glass plane, does the transmission axis matter, or will the intensity be halved no matter what.
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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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48 views

Is it possible to reverse the polarity of already polarized light using passive materials?

For a gizmo idea that I have, I want to understand if it's possible to "reverse/turn" the polarity of light using passive, relatively thin and cheap films, similar to what we see in 3d glasses or TN ...
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1answer
203 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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1answer
169 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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451 views

Laplace's equation

I have got some mathematical difficulties in the following exercise : Calculate the potential of the polarized sphere along the z-axis. There are no free charges. For this, we need to solve ...
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1answer
129 views

Can a polarizing beam splitter cube be used to replace two polarizers?

I have a design for a setup to look at the light reflecting off the back of the human retina. I would like to remove any specular reflection that occurs at the cornea. At the moment the idea is to use ...
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2answers
134 views

Convert normal white light to laser-like light?

Is there a probable device that can convert white light to laser-like light without the need of an electrical stage in-between? I'm thinking of something along this level. A very precise filter and ...
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2answers
132 views

How to treat partially polarized light with Jones vectors?

I have to calculate the degree of s-polarization (perpendicular) of a transmitted unpolarised light ray when it goes through a glass plate ($n=1.5$) at Brewster's angle (Brewster's window). ...
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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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517 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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666 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 ...