Polarization - Polarization Although we know that the...

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Polarization Although we know that the E-field, B-field, and Poynting vector of an EM wave are all perpendicular to each other, that does not mean that any two parallel EM waves must have their electric fields aligned in the same direction. The figure to the right, for instance, shows three electromagnetic waves all directed out of the page, and each having a different orientation for its electric field. It is possible, however, to take a group of EM waves and block all of them except those that have their electric fields parallel or anti-parallel with a selected transmission axis . The waves that emerge are then said to be polarized . Polarization can occur only for transverse waves, meaning it is one of the few phenomena that can occur for light waves but not sound. Polarized light is comparable to toothpicks dropped through a barbeque grill; only those that were aligned with the slots as they approached the grill will get through, and if they now hit another grill with its
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