Polarization of Light

How can you check to make sure a pair of sunglasses is polarized?

Polarized lenses are transparent only to light that has its electric field oriented in one direction. Therefore, if a pair of sunglasses is polarized, two pairs of the same sunglasses, when aligned perpendicular to each other, should not allow any light to pass through the lenses.

Light from the sky is also partially polarized due to the scattering of light off gas molecules in the atmosphere, so if you put on a pair of polarized sunglasses and tilt your head so that your ear were near your shoulder, you should see a change in the intensity of the sky on a clear, sunny day. If you see no such change, then the sunglasses are not polarized.


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