Last updated: Tue Jan 14 2003

Side Scattering of Linear Polarized White Light
White Light in Water

Linearly polarized white light scattered by a column of water. A drop of milk was added to help generate some scattering.
Three views of the same column taken approx. 45 degrees apart. They show the scattering intensity going from a minimum to a maximun 90 degrees away.

Light from a mini-maglite passes through a linear polarizer film, enters the tube from the bottom and creates alternating vertical lobes of dim and bright scattered light, 90 degrees apart.

In the first picture the polarizer allows only light with polarization pointing to the camera to pass; this light cannot be scattered in the same direction so we don't see much light. In the third picture the polarizer has turned by 90 degrees and now allows only light with polarization at right angle to the camera to pass; that light has no problem being scattered in our direction.