Definition of Polarization

1. Noun. The phenomenon in which waves of light or other radiation are restricted in direction of vibration.

Exact synonyms: Polarisation
Generic synonyms: Optical Phenomenon
Derivative terms: Polarise, Polarize, Polarize

2. Noun. The condition of having or giving polarity.
Exact synonyms: Polarisation
Generic synonyms: Condition, Status
Derivative terms: Polarise, Polarise, Polarize

Definition of Polarization

1. n. The act of polarizing; the state of being polarized, or of having polarity.

Definition of Polarization

1. Noun. the production, or the condition of polarity ¹

2. Noun. (physics) the production of polarized light; the direction in which the electric field of an electromagnetic wave points ¹

3. Noun. (context: chemistry physics) the separation of positive and negative charges in a nucleus, atom, molecule or system ¹

4. Noun. the grouping of opinions into two extremes ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Polarization

1. [n -S]

Medical Definition of Polarization

1. 1. The act of polarizing; the state of being polarized, or of having polarity. 2. A peculiar affection or condition of the rays of light or heat, in consequence of which they exhibit different properties in different directions. If a beam of light, which has been reflected from a plate of unsilvered glass at an angle of about 56 deg, be received upon a second plate of glass similar to the former, and at the same angle of incidence, the light will be readily reflected when the two planes of incidence are parallel to each other, but will not be reflected when the two planes of incidence are perpendicular to each other. The light has, therefore, acquired new properties by reflection from the first plate of glass, and is called polarized light, while the modification which the light has experienced by this reflection is called polarization. The plane in which the beam of light is reflected from the first mirror is called the plane of polarization. The angle of polarization is the angle at which a beam of light must be reflected, in order that the polarization may be the most complete. The term polarization was derived from the theory of emission, and it was conceived that each luminous molecule has two poles analogous to the poles of a magnet; but this view is not now held. According to the undulatory theory, ordinary light is produced by vibrations transverse or perpendicular to the direction of the ray, and distributed as to show no distinction as to any particular direction. But when, by any means, these, vibrations are made to take place in one plane, the light is said to be plane polarized. If only a portion of the vibrations lie in one plane the ray is said to be partially polarized. Light may be polarized by several methods other than by reflection, as by refraction through most crystalline media, or by being transmitted obliquely through several plates of glass with parallel faces. If a beam of polarized light be transmitted through a crystal of quartz in the direction of its axis, the plane of polarization will be changed by an angle proportional to the thickness of the crystal. This phenomenon is called rotatory polarization. A beam of light reflected from a metallic surface, or from glass surfaces under certain peculiar conditions, acquires properties still more complex, its vibrations being no longer rectilinear, but circular, or elliptical. This phenomenon is called circular or elliptical polarization. 3. An effect produced upon the plates of a voltaic battery, or the electrodes in an electrolytic cell, by the deposition upon them of the gases liberated by the action of the current. It is chiefly due to the hydrogen, and results in an increase of the resistance, and the setting up of an opposing electromotive force, both of which tend materially to weaken the current of the battery, or that passing through the cell. Origin: Cf. F. Polarization. Source: Websters Dictionary (01 Mar 1998)

Polarization Pictures

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Lexicographical Neighbors of Polarization

polarising microscope
polarity of translation
polarization (current term)
polarization colours
polarization microscopy
polarized light
polarized light microscope
polarizing element
polarizing power

Literary usage of Polarization

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. Encyclopaedia Britannica: A Standard Work of Reference in Art, Literature (1907)
"The effect of enlarging the surface of the electrode in diminishing the polarization in the case where the maximum polarization is not reached was noticed ..."

2. Technical Digest edited by G. W. Day, D. L. Franzen, P. A. Williams (1999)
"We present polarization-dependent loss measurements from 0.0016 to 0.56 dB at 1550 nm to ... Introduction polarization dependent loss (PDL) is defined as ..."

3. A Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism by James Clerk Maxwell (1904)
"270,] There is therefore a great difference between the state of polarization of the electrodes of an electrolytic cell when the polarization ..."

4. Physical Optics by Robert Williams Wood (1914)
"CHAPTER IX polarization OF LIGHT IN the preceding chapters we have considered rays of light as symmetrical around their direction of propagation; ..."

5. Bulletin by Mount Weather Observatory, Bluemont, Va, United States Weather Bureau (1912)
"In summarizing what at present is known of the polarization of sky light, the authors have done n great service to students of meteorological optics. ..."

6. Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society by Cambridge Philosophical Society (1886)
"I., Fröhlich gives an account of some experiments on the polarization of light diffracted by reflection from two glass gratings, one of which was ruled with ..."

7. Physics of the Air by William Jackson Humphreys (1920)
"And, since the plane of polarization is fixed by the sun, observer, ... That is, the polarization increases from zero in the direction both of the sun and ..."

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