# 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.

### Other articles related to "circular polarization, polarization, circular":

Patch Antenna - Circular Polarization
... Each mode radiates separately and combine to produce circular polarization ... microstrip antenna can be driven along a diagonal and produce circular polarization ... is +45 degrees and the other -45 degrees to produce the required 90 degree phase shift for circular polarization ...
Circular Polarization - Starlight
... The circular polarization of starlight has been observed to be a function of the linear polarization of starlight ... Thus the polarization direction can be used to map out the galactic magnetic field ... The degree of polarization is on the order of 1.5% for stars at 1000 parsecs distance ...
Polarization (waves) - Theory - Polarization State
... wave passes over it (a Lissajous figure) is a description of the polarization state ... Linear Circular Elliptical In the leftmost figure above, the two orthogonal (perpendicular) components are in phase ... traces out a single line in the plane, this special case is called linear polarization ...
Photon Polarization - Polarization of Classical Electromagnetic Waves - Polarization States - Circular Polarization
... then becomes where the plus sign indicates right circular polarization and the minus sign indicates left circular polarization ... In the case of circular polarization, the electric field vector of constant magnitude rotates in the x-y plane ... If unit vectors are defined such that and then an arbitrary polarization state can written in the "R-L basis" as where and We can see that ...
Sinusoidal Plane-wave Solutions Of The Electromagnetic Wave Equation - Polarization States - Circular Polarization
... The Jones vector is where the plus sign indicates right circular polarization and the minus sign indicates left circular polarization ... In the case of circular polarization, the electric field vector of constant magnitude rotates in the x-y plane ... If unit vectors are defined such that and then a circular polarization state can written in the "R-L basis" as where and ...

### Famous quotes containing the word circular:

‘A thing is called by a certain name because it instantiates a certain universal’ is obviously circular when particularized, but it looks imposing when left in this general form. And it looks imposing in this general form largely because of the inveterate philosophical habit of treating the shadows cast by words and sentences as if they were separately identifiable. Universals, like facts and propositions, are such shadows.
David Pears (b. 1921)