oPhysics: Interactive Physics Simulations

Polarization of Light

This is a simulation intended to help visualize polarization. A polarizing filter has a particular transmission axis and only allows light waves aligned with that axis to pass through. In this simulation unpolarized waves pass through a vertical slit, leaving only their vertical components. This vertical transverse wave approaches a vertical slit. If the slit is rotated, only a component of the wave can pass through. If the slit is rotated 90 degrees, the wave is stopped completely. Use the check boxes to show one, two, or three slits and see what happens as the wave passes through two or three slits at various angles. Press the button at the bottom left to start or pause the animation.