circular polarization

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Related to Circularly polarized light: Quarter wave plate

circular polarization

See polarization.

Circular Polarization

 

the state of a propagating electromagnetic wave (such as a light wave) in which the end points of its electric and magnetic vectors E and H describe a circle in a plane perpendicular to the direction of propagation at every point in space occupied by the wave.

circular polarization

[′sər·kyə·lər ‚pō·lə·rə′zā·shən]
(physics)
Attribute of a transverse wave (either of electromagnetic radiation, or in an elastic medium) whose electric or displacement vector is of constant amplitude and, at a fixed point in space, rotates in a plane perpendicular to the propagation direction with constant angular velocity.
References in periodicals archive ?
In the 1930s scientists discovered that circularly polarized light can destroy molecules of a particular handedness depending on its polarity.
In linearly polarized light, the sideways vibration is all in the same direction, while in circularly polarized light, it spirals around the trajectory in a corkscrew fashion.
The team was able to control the state of polarization by generating both linearly polarized light along an arbitrary direction and circularly polarized light.
For example, right- and left-handed molecules respond differently to circularly polarized light, whose waves move in a corkscrew fashion that can have either a right- or a left-handed twist.
One popular theory is that certain naturally occur ring forms of UV radiation, called circularly polarized light, preferentially produce left-handed varieties in interstellar space.
Armed with the new material, "we'd like to explore the unique features of circularly polarized light for new applications," says Chen.
Astronomers discovered circularly polarized light in a nearby star-forming region, which could explain why life on Earth uses only left-handed amino acids and right-handed sugars (154: 68).