Astrophysics (index)


(property of waves that oscillate in a particular direction)

Polarization is the orientation of waves to a particular direction. It can occur when the oscillation is perpendicular to the direction of travel of the wave but not when the oscillation is in the same direction as the wave's movement, so it does not occur in sound waves.

Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) can be polarized, but in astronomy, much is not. Exceptions are Maser radiation, radiation from active galaxies, Pulsars (PSR), the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), light scattered by Cosmic Dust, and Synchrotron Radiation. Observation of polarization is used to detect magnetic fields.


Referenced by:
Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT)
CMB Polarization
Cosmic Dust
Circular Polarization Ratio (CPR)
Cyclotron Radiation
Dragone Telescope
Galactic Electron Density
Polarization Modes
Speckle Suppression
South Pole Telescope (SPT)
Stokes Parameters
Synchrotron Radiation
Thomson Optical Depth
White Dwarf
Zeeman-Doppler Imaging (ZDI)