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Polarization of light

Light is send through the two-sheet polarizing system with unknown orientation of the polarizing axes (see attachment). If the ratio of the emerging intensity to the initial intensity is 0.7, is the light initially polarized or not? Prove your answer.

Please state what equations you use (if any).

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SOLUTION

Basic theory : Polarization

Light (electro-magnetic) waves comprise of electric (E) and magnetic (M) field vectors oscillating perpendicular to each other and also to the direction of propagation. Human eyes are sensitive to the E vector only; therefore in relation to visible light we talk of only the E vector.

Electromagnetic waves (including light) are produced by accelerating and/or oscillating charges. For example, in sun random accelerated motion of charged particles produces EM waves of a wide range of wave lengths including the visible range. As the charged particles producing the EM waves are moving at random, in all possible directions, the light received by us from the sun (or any other ...

Solution Summary

The solution briefly explains the basic theory of polarization of light by a polarizer and the effect of orientation of the polarizing axis on the intensity on emerging light.

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