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Polarization is said to occur when a wave vibrate in a single plane.

  • A phenomenon associated with transverse waves only

Light waves are randomly polarized. The only light source which is perfectly plane polarized is the laser beam.


Electromagnetic waves become plane polarized when they pass through polarizing filters. (Polaroids for polarization of light.)

The intensity of emerging waves would be less than that of the incident waves.

The effect of polarization does not occur at all for longitudinal waves because oscillations of the particles are along the wave. Hence, the polarizing filter, regardless of its polarizing axis, does not restrict or prevent the passage of longitudinal waves.

  • Longitudinal Waves do not exhibit properties of polarization.

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