Tanushree posted an Question
August 10, 2021 • 20:04 pm 30 points
  • Physics (PH)


What is the difference between left elliptical polarization and right elliptical polarization? How can we know their handedness?

2 Answer(s) Answer Now
  • Isha lohan 1 Best Answer

    See this. conventions. these are applicable to both ellipse and circle

  • Isha lohan 1 best-answer

    The major difference comes due to the rotation direction of electric field vector. You can check thier handedness depending upon whether you are looking at them from source or as receiver. Usually in our problems we act as receiver of light. So if you imagine circular/elliptical polarized light coming towards you, and the electric vector is rotating anti-clockwise, then it is said to be left handed and vice versa. If you want more deeper details mathematically you should read Polarization chapter from Optics book by Ajoy Ghatak. Do ask if you still have any doubts.


    Do the angle made by the semi major axis of the ellipse with the x-axis have any effect on the handedness? For ex: semi major axis at angle 45° with x axis and 135° with x-axis with elctric vector rotating in clockwise direction in both. In both the cases, will it be called Right elliptical polarization?


    see fig. may be this is what you are saying. the fig 1. the x-axis and y-axis are as per we consider them, I may rotate these axes 45 or any x degree. this has no effect on left or right polarization. If you are receiving light and se electric field rotation clock wise. then yes it is right handed. the angles of axis doesn't matter.


    Ok,then are these two also right elliptically polarized?




    ok. Thank you


    If you really want to thanks then please click the 'thank you' or 'best answer' tab.. 😅 that will probably be real thanks for me.


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