File:Circular.Polarization.Circularly.Polarized.Light Circular.Polarizer Creating.Left.Handed.Helix.View.svg

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Summary

Description
English: This circularly polarized light is considered left-handed as viewed from the receiver and right-handed as viewed from the source. (Refer here)

The transmission axis of the linear polarizer, represented with an orange line, is at a positive 45° angle. On the quarter-wave plate, also represented in orange, is the horizontal slow axis and the vertical fast axis. In this instance the unpolarized light entering the linear polarizer is displayed as a single wave whose linear polarization is suddenly changing its angle and magnitude. When one attempts to pass unpolarized light through the linear polarizer, only light that has its electric field at the positive 45° angle leaves the linear polarizer and enters the quarter-wave plate. To understand the effect the quarter-wave plate has on the linearly polarized light it is useful think of the light being divided into two components at right angles (orthogonal ). Toward this end, the crossed orange lines are projections of the red line onto the vertical and horizontal planes respectively and represent the amplitude of the wave on those two planes. In linearly-polarized light, the two components are in phase. Because the quarter-wave plate is made of a birefringent material, when in the wave plate, the light travels at different speeds depending on the direction of its electric field. This means that the horizontal component which is along the slow axis of the wave plate will travel at a slightly slower speed than the component that is directed along the vertical fast axis. Initially the two components are in phase, but as the two components travel through the wave plate the horizontal component of the light drifts farther behind that of the vertical. By adjusting the thickness of the wave plate one can control how much the horizontal component is delayed relative to vertical component before the light leaves the wave plate and they again begin to travel at the same speed. When the light leaves the quarter-wave plate the rightward horizontal component will be exactly one quarter of a wavelength behind the vertical component making the light left hand circularly polarized.


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Date/TimeThumbnailDimensionsUserComment
current05:59, 22 December 2015Thumbnail for version as of 05:59, 22 December 2015791 × 348 (790 KB)Mikhail Ryazanovadded hyphens, removed unnecessary capitalization
19:54, 1 April 2010Thumbnail for version as of 19:54, 1 April 2010791 × 348 (964 KB)Dave3457very very slight change
19:19, 1 April 2010Thumbnail for version as of 19:19, 1 April 2010791 × 348 (964 KB)Dave3457try again to change order of unpolarized light
19:18, 1 April 2010Thumbnail for version as of 19:18, 1 April 2010791 × 348 (965 KB)Dave3457Reverted to version as of 19:05, 1 April 2010
19:16, 1 April 2010Thumbnail for version as of 19:16, 1 April 2010791 × 348 (965 KB)Dave3457Changed order of unpolarized light
19:05, 1 April 2010Thumbnail for version as of 19:05, 1 April 2010791 × 348 (965 KB)Dave3457added two guides
01:10, 29 March 2010Thumbnail for version as of 01:10, 29 March 2010791 × 348 (963 KB)Dave3457{{Information |Description={{en|1=In the set up the transmission axis of the linear polarizer, represented with an orange line, is at a positive 45° angle. On the quarter-wave plate, also represented in orange, is the horizontal slow axis and the vertica

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