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Scan1 - museum A Physics 7C in space as the wave moves...

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Unformatted text preview: , museum... A Physics 7C in space as the wave moves. Elliptically polarized light is a superposition of linearly and circularly polarized light, and both linear and circular polarizations are really just special cases of elliptical polarization. r r A 1 £9 A . E 1 Fig. 1: The path traced out by the tip of the E field for linearly, circularly and elliptically polarized light waves. The wave is going into the page. In 3D, (b) and (c) trace out corkscrew shapes as they travel. Generating Linearly Polarized Light The light from most normal sources (like the sun or a candle) is unpolatized, but it can be made polarized by various methods. The simplest is to shine it through a linear polarizer, a device that blocks all light except that with a certain linear polarization. The polarization direction that is allowed to pass is called the polarization axis of the polarizer. If you shine completely unpolarized light on a linear polarizer, the light that is transmitted is linearly polarized along the direction of the polarization axis. Because linear polarizers work by blocking light, not all of the incident intensity is transmitted. We can deduce how much intensity will be transmitted by thinking of the case of an already linearly polarized light wave hitting a linear polarizer. The polarizer allows only the component of the incident electric field (i.e. polarization) along its polarization axis to pass through. The magnitude of this transmitted electric field will be the original (incident) electric field magnitude times the cosine of 6, the angle between the polarization axis and the polarization of the incident light (see Figure 2). We know that the intensity of a light wave is proportional to its electric field squared, so the intensity that passes through a linear polarizer 1s [(0) = Io cosz(9) Eq. 1 where I0 is the incident intensity. This is the most important polarization equation, so remember it. POLARIZATION . 2 56 ...
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