Circular Polarization

In electrodynamics, circular polarization of an electromagnetic wave is a polarization in which the electric field of the passing wave does not change strength but only changes direction in a rotary manner.

In electrodynamics the strength and direction of an electric field is defined by what is called an electric field vector. In the case of a circularly polarized wave, as seen in the accompanying animation, the tip of the electric field vector, at a given point in space, describes a circle as time progresses. If the wave is frozen in time, the electric field vector of the wave describes a helix along the direction of propagation.

Circular polarization is a limiting case of the more general condition of elliptical polarization. The other special case is the easier-to-understand linear polarization.

Read more about Circular Polarization:  General Description, Left/right Handedness Conventions, FM Radio, Circular Dichroism, Circularly Polarized Luminescence, Mathematical Description, Antennas, In Nature, Starlight

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