Circular polarization on rubber thread, converted to linear polarization
A triangular prism dispersing a beam of white light. The longer wavelengths (red) and the shorter wavelengths (blue) are separated.
Étienne-Louis Malus
cross linear polarized
The electromagnetic spectrum, with the visible portion highlighted
A "vertically polarized" electromagnetic wave of wavelength λ has its electric field vector E (red) oscillating in the vertical direction. The magnetic field B (or H) is always at right angles to it (blue), and both are perpendicular to the direction of propagation (z).
Electric field oscillation
Beam of sun light inside the cavity of Rocca ill'Abissu at Fondachelli-Fantina, Sicily
Due to refraction, the straw dipped in water appears bent and the ruler scale compressed when viewed from a shallow angle.
Hong Kong illuminated by colourful artificial lighting.
Pierre Gassendi.
Christiaan Huygens.
Thomas Young's sketch of a double-slit experiment showing diffraction. Young's experiments supported the theory that light consists of waves.
Animation showing four different polarization states and three orthogonal projections.
A circularly polarized wave as a sum of two linearly polarized components 90° out of phase
Color pattern of a plastic box showing stress-induced birefringence when placed in between two crossed polarizers.
Paths taken by vectors in the Poincaré sphere under birefringence. The propagation modes (rotation axes) are shown with red, blue, and yellow lines, the initial vectors by thick black lines, and the paths they take by colored ellipses (which represent circles in three dimensions).
A stack of plates at Brewster's angle to a beam reflects off a fraction of the s-polarized light at each surface, leaving (after many such plates) a mainly p-polarized beam.
Stress in plastic glasses
Photomicrograph of a volcanic sand grain; upper picture is plane-polarized light, bottom picture is cross-polarized light, scale box at left-center is 0.25 millimeter.
Effect of a polarizer on reflection from mud flats. In the picture on the left, the horizontally oriented polarizer preferentially transmits those reflections; rotating the polarizer by 90° (right) as one would view using polarized sunglasses blocks almost all specularly reflected sunlight.
One can test whether sunglasses are polarized by looking through two pairs, with one perpendicular to the other. If both are polarized, all light will be blocked.
The effects of a polarizing filter (right image) on the sky in a photograph
Colored fringes in the Embassy Gardens Sky Pool when viewed through a polarizer, due to stress-induced birefringence in the skylight
Circular polarization through an airplane plastic window, 1989

The primary properties of light are intensity, propagation direction, frequency or wavelength spectrum and polarization.

- Light

Transverse waves that exhibit polarization include electromagnetic waves such as light and radio waves, gravitational waves, and transverse sound waves (shear waves) in solids.

- Polarization (waves)

His mathematical work was almost entirely concerned with the study of light.

- Étienne-Louis Malus

His discovery of the polarization of light by reflection was published in 1809 and his theory of double refraction of light in crystals, in 1810.

- Étienne-Louis Malus

Étienne-Louis Malus in 1810 created a mathematical particle theory of polarization.

- Light

This phenomenon was observed in 1808 by the mathematician Étienne-Louis Malus, after whom Malus's law is named.

- Polarization (waves)
Circular polarization on rubber thread, converted to linear polarization

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