Linear Polarization and Natural Light

Linear Polarization and Natural Light - Linear Polarization...

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Linear Polarization and Natural Light Light, as we have said, is a transverse electromagnetic wave. However, until this point we have only considered light for which the electric (and magnetic) field vector are oscillating in a single, fixed plane. Such light is called linearly polarized or plane polarized. In other words, although the electric field oscillates in magnitude and sign, its orientation is constant. A fixed plane of vibration contains both E and , the direction of propagation. However, natural light is generated by a large number of randomly oriented atomic oscillators. The light emitted from these oscillators will combine momentarily to form a linearly polarized wave, but this will persist for no longer than 10 -8 seconds before different atomic oscillators emit new randomly polarized waves causing a different polarization of the resultant wave. The result is that the polarization of natural light fluctuates too rapidly to be detectable. This situation is called random polarization. In most light the polarization is neither completely random nor completely linear -- this is known
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Linear Polarization and Natural Light - Linear Polarization...

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