Ch0225 - Chapter 25 Polarization 25 Polarization The...

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Chapter 25 Polarization 223 25 Polarization The polarization direction of light refers to the two directions or one of the two directions in which the electric field is oscillating. For the case of completely polarized light there are always two directions that could be called the polarization direction. If a single direction is specified, then that direction, and the exact opposite direction, are both the directions of polarization. Still, specifying one direction completely specifies the direction of polarization. For instance for light that is traveling straight downward near the surface of the earth, if the polarization direction is said to be a compass heading of 15 ° , that unambiguously means that the electric field oscillates so that it is at times pointing in the direction with a compass heading of 15 ° , and at times pointing in the direction with a compass heading of 195 ° (15 ° west of south). Randomly polarized light , a.k.a. unpolarized light , has electric field oscillations in each and every direction perpendicular to the direction in which the light is traveling. Such light is often depicted, as viewed from behind, (where forward is the direction in which the light is traveling) as: East North West South 15 ° E E v Unpolarized Light, a.k.a. Randomly Polarized Light
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Chapter 25 Polarization 224 Vertically polarized light traveling horizontally away from you is typically depicted as: where the direction in which the light is traveling is “into the page” and upward is “toward the top of the page.” At a particular position through which the light is traveling, starting at an instant when the electric field vector at that position is upward and maximum, the electric field will decrease to zero, then be downward and increasing, reach a maximum downward, then be downward and decreasing, become zero, then be upward and increasing, then reach a maximum upward, and repeat, continually. The diagram depicting the polarization indicates the directions
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Ch0225 - Chapter 25 Polarization 25 Polarization The...

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