Active questions tagged polarization - Physics Stack Exchange

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Can a single photon have circular polarization?

There are on this site a few questions about photons and circular polarization, but none of them give satisfactory answers: Connection between spin angular momentum of a photon and circular polarization of light I have read this question: What does a circularly polarized electromagnetic plane wave look like in a co-rotating reference frame? Where...

How can the neutron have any 'electric polarizability'?

If a neutron has no identifiable electric charge or polarization, as far as anybody has been able to determine, how can it have a value for 'electric polarizability'? Wikipedia has a value listed that is only smaller than that for the proton.... I'm confused....

What is the polarization of an EM wave after it suffers scattering?

If a linearly polarized classical monochromatic electromagnetic radiation undergoes a scattering, does the scattered electric field have the same polarization as the incident electric field? I am looking for an answer (or deduce the conclusion mathematically) from classical electromagnetic theory of scattering.

Spin-1 polarization vectors (massive particle)

I am reading Zee's QFT book and he is developing the field theory of photons without introducing gauge invariance. He's putting a small photon mass into the Lagrangian which he will later let go to zero. He is assuming I just finished my courses on EM and QM, and that I should know what he's talking about in some brief comments, but I am confused....

Is there a rotation of the polarization plane in rotating refractive media?

Since there is a transverse Fresnel–Fizeau effect according to Jones, R. V. (1972). "'Fresnel Aether Drag' in a Transversely Moving Medium". Proceedings of the Royal Society A. 328 (1574): 337–352. Bibcode:1972RSPSA.328..337J. doi:10.1098/rspa.1972.0081. and Jones, R. V. (1975). "'Aether Drag' in a Transversely Moving Medium". Proceedings of...

Anisotropic dielectric media and collinearity between polarization and electric field

I am trying to understand the definition of an anisotropic dielectric media. I think I understand the definition in terms of the susceptibility tensor: $$ \begin{pmatrix} P_{x}\\ P_{y} \\ P_{z} \end{pmatrix} = \epsilon_o \, \begin{pmatrix} \chi_{1_{xx}} & \chi_{1_{xy}} & \chi_{1_{xz}}\\\chi_{1_{yx}} & \chi_{1_{yy}} & \chi_{1_{yz}}...

Why does light reflected from a surface is s polarized? Why p polarized light is refracted?

I cannot understand the physics behind the reflection and polarization-reflection on an atomic scale. What exactly happens at the boundary of two surfaces? I was studying Brewster's law and thus this doubt came.

Extraordinary wave

In anisotropic media, for extraordinary wave, I don't understand how can the power flow not be in the same direction as the propagation. I can't find a physical intuition for it.

Plane Waves and Spatial Frequencies

I have some confusion about how to make a light beam with spatial structure. Let all the waves below be monochromatic. When I think of a light beam, what first comes to mind is this: Black lines are axes, and blue lines represent the surfaces of constant phase of a plane wave traveling along the horizontal axis. My understanding is that this is...

Why does metal change its color under polarized light?

I've taken two photos of a metal in an experimental setup. The first image shows the metal illuminated by a halogen-lamp from above. The second image shows the same metal illuminated by the same lamp but there are two additions: There is a linear-polarizing filter in front of the lamp and one in front of the camera. I was expecting all specular...

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