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Polarization of Light and Microwaves (Quantum Physics)

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Uploaded on Jul 18, 2009

A phenomenon that can not be adequately explained by classical physics.

Radio waves, light, X-rays and gamma rays are all electromagnetic radiation. The classical visualization of the polarization of a wave is that the electric field is oscillating in one plane, like a stretched rope. A polarizing filter can be thought of as like a venetian blind. When the rope is oscillating in the same plane as the blind, it can pass through. When it is at right angles, it is blocked.

This classical visualisation soon breaks down. Firstly, an electromagnetic wave passes through a polarizer when its electric field is at right angles to the 'slats' and is blocked when it is parallel. Another example is that of three crossed polarizers. This is shown in the movie.

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