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# Polarization of Plane Waves

Harsha Vardhan
06/04/2017 0 0

(a) Linear polarization

A plane wave is linearly polarized at a fixed observation point if the tip of the electric-field vector at that point moves along the same straight line at every instant of time.

(b) Circular Polarization

A plane wave is circularly polarized at a a fixed observation point if the tip of the electric-field vector at that point traces out a circle as a function of time. Circular polarization can be either right-handed or left-handed corresponding to the electric-field vector rotating clockwise (right-handed) or anticlockwise (left-handed).

(c) Elliptical Polarization

A plane wave is elliptically polarized at a a fixed observation point if the tip of the electric-field vector at that point traces out an ellipse as a function of time. Elliptically polarization can be either right-handed or left-handed corresponding to the electric-field vector rotating clockwise (right-handed) or anti-clockwise (left-handed).

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