Degree of polarization

Degree of polarization (DOP) is a quantity used to describe the portion of an electromagnetic wave which is polarized. A perfectly polarized wave has a DOP of 100%, whereas an unpolarized wave has a DOP of 0%. A wave which is partially polarized, and therefore can be represented by a superposition of a polarized and unpolarized component, will have a DOP somewhere in between 0 and 100%. DOP is calculated as the fraction of the total power that is carried by the polarised component of the wave.

DOP can be used to map the strain field in materials when considering the DOP of the photoluminescence. The polarization of the photoluminescence is related to the strain in a material by way of the given material's photoelasticity tensor.

DOP is also visualized using the Poincaré sphere representation of a polarized beam. In this representation, DOP is equal to the length of the vector measured from the center of the sphere.

See also

Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences

Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES) is a leading research institute in Nainital, Uttarakhand which specializes in Astronomy, Astrophysics and Atmospheric Sciences. An autonomous body under the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, the institute is situated at Manora Peak (1,951 m (6,401 ft)), about 9 km from Nainital, a popular hill station.The astronomical observatory is open to the public during working days on afternoons. For night viewing however, three - four days on moonlight nights are fixed and prior permission is needed.

Axial ratio

Axial ratio, for any structure or shape with two or more axes, is the ratio of the length (or magnitude) of those axes to each other - the longer axis divided by the shorter.

In chemistry or materials science, the axial ratio (symbol P) is used to describe rigid rod-like molecules. It is defined as the length of the rod divided by the rod diameter.

In physics, the axial ratio describes electromagnetic radiation with elliptical, or circular, polarization. The axial ratio is the ratio of the magnitudes of the major and minor axis defined by the electric field vector.

Circular polarization

In electrodynamics, circular polarization of an electromagnetic wave is a polarization state in which, at each point, the electric field of the wave has a constant magnitude but its direction rotates with time at a steady rate in a plane perpendicular to the direction of the wave.

In electrodynamics the strength and direction of an electric field is defined by its 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. At any instant of time, the electric field vector of the wave describes a helix along the direction of propagation. A circularly polarized wave can be in one of two possible states, right circular polarization in which the electric field vector rotates in a right-hand sense with respect to the direction of propagation, and left circular polarization in which the vector rotates in a left-hand sense.

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.

The phenomenon of polarization arises as a consequence of the fact that light behaves as a two-dimensional transverse wave.


DOP may stand for:

Data-oriented parsing

Declaration of Principles, an agreement between Israel and Palestine, also known as the Oslo Accords

Degree of parallelism

Degree of polarization

Denominazione di Origine Protetta, the Italian equivalent of protected designation of origin

Dermo-optical perception

Dilution of precision (GPS), a term used in geomatics engineering to describe the geometric strength of satellite configuration

Diocese of Parañaque

Dioctyl phthalate, alternate name of Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, a PVC plasticizer

Director of photography, alternate name for cinematographer

Discrete oriented polytope or polyhedron in computer graphics

Dominican peso, ISO 4217 currency code

dOP (music), an electronic music group

Dumbarton Oaks Papers, an academic journal founded in 1941

Electric susceptibility

In electricity (electromagnetism), the electric susceptibility (; Latin: susceptibilis "receptive") is a dimensionless proportionality constant that indicates the degree of polarization of a dielectric material in response to an applied electric field. The greater the electric susceptibility, the greater the ability of a material to polarize in response to the field, and thereby reduce the total electric field inside the material (and store energy). It is in this way that the electric susceptibility influences the electric permittivity of the material and thus influences many other phenomena in that medium, from the capacitance of capacitors to the speed of light.

Euler–Heisenberg Lagrangian

In physics, the Euler–Heisenberg Lagrangian describes the non-linear dynamics of electromagnetic fields in vacuum. It was first obtained by Werner Heisenberg and Hans Heinrich Euler in 1936. By treating the vacuum as a medium, it predicts rates of quantum electrodynamics (QED) light interaction processes.

Extinction ratio

In telecommunications, extinction ratio (re) is the ratio of two optical power levels of a digital signal generated by an optical source, e.g., a laser diode. The extinction ratio may be expressed as a fraction, in dB, or as a percentage. It may be given by

where P1 is the optical power level generated when the light source is on, and P0 is the power level generated when the light source is off.

The polarization extinction ratio (PER) is the ratio of optical powers of perpendicular polarizations, usually called TE (transverse electrical) and TM (transverse magnetic). In telecommunications, the PER is used to characterize the degree of polarization in a polarization-maintaining device or fiber. For coherent transmitter and receiver, the PER is a key parameter, since X polarization and Y polarization are coded with different signals.

Mainz Microtron

The Mainz Microtron (German name: Mainzer Mikrotron), abbreviated MAMI,

is a microtron (particle accelerator) which provides a continuous wave, high intensity, polarized electron beam with an energy up to 1.6 GeV. MAMI is the core of an experimental facility for particle, nuclear and X-ray radiation physics at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz (Germany). It is one of the largest campus-based accelerator facilities for basic research in Europe. The experiments at MAMI are performed by about 200 physicists of many countries organized in international collaborations.


The neutron is a subatomic particle, symbol n or n0, with no net electric charge and a mass slightly larger than that of a proton. Protons and neutrons constitute the nuclei of atoms. Since protons and neutrons behave similarly within the nucleus, and each has a mass of approximately one atomic mass unit, they are both referred to as nucleons. Their properties and interactions are described by nuclear physics.

The chemical and nuclear properties of the nucleus are determined by the number of protons, called the atomic number, and the number of neutrons, called the neutron number. The atomic mass number is the total number of nucleons. For example, carbon has atomic number 6, and its abundant carbon-12 isotope has 6 neutrons, whereas its rare carbon-13 isotope has 7 neutrons. Some elements occur in nature with only one stable isotope, such as fluorine. Other elements occur with many stable isotopes, such as tin with ten stable isotopes.

Within the nucleus, protons and neutrons are bound together through the nuclear force. Neutrons are required for the stability of nuclei, with the exception of the single-proton hydrogen atom. Neutrons are produced copiously in nuclear fission and fusion. They are a primary contributor to the nucleosynthesis of chemical elements within stars through fission, fusion, and neutron capture processes.

The neutron is essential to the production of nuclear power. In the decade after the neutron was discovered by James Chadwick in 1932, neutrons were used to induce many different types of nuclear transmutations. With the discovery of nuclear fission in 1938, it was quickly realized that, if a fission event produced neutrons, each of these neutrons might cause further fission events, etc., in a cascade known as a nuclear chain reaction. These events and findings led to the first self-sustaining nuclear reactor (Chicago Pile-1, 1942) and the first nuclear weapon (Trinity, 1945).

Free neutrons, while not directly ionizing atoms, cause ionizing radiation. As such they can be a biological hazard, depending upon dose. A small natural "neutron background" flux of free neutrons exists on Earth, caused by cosmic ray showers, and by the natural radioactivity of spontaneously fissionable elements in the Earth's crust. Dedicated neutron sources like neutron generators, research reactors and spallation sources produce free neutrons for use in irradiation and in neutron scattering experiments.


Optics is the branch of physics that studies the behaviour and properties of light, including its interactions with matter and the construction of instruments that use or detect it. Optics usually describes the behaviour of visible, ultraviolet, and infrared light. Because light is an electromagnetic wave, other forms of electromagnetic radiation such as X-rays, microwaves, and radio waves exhibit similar properties.Most optical phenomena can be accounted for using the classical electromagnetic description of light. Complete electromagnetic descriptions of light are, however, often difficult to apply in practice. Practical optics is usually done using simplified models. The most common of these, geometric optics, treats light as a collection of rays that travel in straight lines and bend when they pass through or reflect from surfaces. Physical optics is a more comprehensive model of light, which includes wave effects such as diffraction and interference that cannot be accounted for in geometric optics. Historically, the ray-based model of light was developed first, followed by the wave model of light. Progress in electromagnetic theory in the 19th century led to the discovery that light waves were in fact electromagnetic radiation.

Some phenomena depend on the fact that light has both wave-like and particle-like properties. Explanation of these effects requires quantum mechanics. When considering light's particle-like properties, the light is modelled as a collection of particles called "photons". Quantum optics deals with the application of quantum mechanics to optical systems.

Optical science is relevant to and studied in many related disciplines including astronomy, various engineering fields, photography, and medicine (particularly ophthalmology and optometry). Practical applications of optics are found in a variety of technologies and everyday objects, including mirrors, lenses, telescopes, microscopes, lasers, and fibre optics.


Phosphasilenes or silylidenephosphanes are a class of compounds with silicon-phosphorus double bonds. Since the electronegativity of phosphorus (2.1) is higher than that of silicon (1.9), the "Si=P" moiety of phosphasilene is polarized. The degree of polarization can be tuned by altering the coordination numbers of the Si and P centers, or by modifying the electronic properties of the substituents. The phosphasilene Si=P double bond is highly reactive, yet with the choice of proper substituents, it can be stabilized via donor-acceptor interaction or by steric congestion.

The landmark discovery of the first phosphasilene by NMR spectroscopy was made in 1984 by Bickelhaupt et al. The first phosphasilene came with bulky aryl substituents at the phosphorus and silicon atoms. Almost a decade after this spectroscopic observation, the first structural characterization of phosphasilene was achieved in 1993 by Niecke et al. The successful isolation of phosphasilenes with silicon-phosphorus double bonds represents one of the discoveries that challenged and disproved the "double-bond rule".

Polarization (waves)

Polarization (also polarisation) is a property applying to transverse waves that specifies the geometrical orientation of the oscillations. In a transverse wave, the direction of the oscillation is perpendicular to the direction of motion of the wave. A simple example of a polarized transverse wave is vibrations traveling along a taut string (see image); for example, in a musical instrument like a guitar string. Depending on how the string is plucked, the vibrations can be in a vertical direction, horizontal direction, or at any angle perpendicular to the string. In contrast, in longitudinal waves, such as sound waves in a liquid or gas, the displacement of the particles in the oscillation is always in the direction of propagation, so these waves do not exhibit polarization. Transverse waves that exhibit polarization include electromagnetic waves such as light and radio waves, gravitational waves, and transverse sound waves (shear waves) in solids. In some types of transverse waves, the wave displacement is limited to a single direction, so these also do not exhibit polarization; for example, in surface waves in liquids (gravity waves), the wave displacement of the particles is always in a vertical plane.

An electromagnetic wave such as light consists of a coupled oscillating electric field and magnetic field which are always perpendicular; by convention, the "polarization" of electromagnetic waves refers to the direction of the electric field. In linear polarization, the fields oscillate in a single direction. In circular or elliptical polarization, the fields rotate at a constant rate in a plane as the wave travels. The rotation can have two possible directions; if the fields rotate in a right hand sense with respect to the direction of wave travel, it is called right circular polarization, or, if the fields rotate in a left hand sense, it is called left circular polarization.

Light or other electromagnetic radiation from many sources, such as the sun, flames, and incandescent lamps, consists of short wave trains with an equal mixture of polarizations; this is called unpolarized light. Polarized light can be produced by passing unpolarized light through a polarizer, which allows waves of only one polarization to pass through. The most common optical materials (such as glass) are isotropic and do not affect the polarization of light passing through them; however, some materials—those that exhibit birefringence, dichroism, or optical activity—can change the polarization of light. Some of these are used to make polarizing filters. Light is also partially polarized when it reflects from a surface.

According to quantum mechanics, electromagnetic waves can also be viewed as streams of particles called photons. When viewed in this way, the polarization of an electromagnetic wave is determined by a quantum mechanical property of photons called their spin. A photon has one of two possible spins: it can either spin in a right hand sense or a left hand sense about its direction of travel. Circularly polarized electromagnetic waves are composed of photons with only one type of spin, either right- or left-hand. Linearly polarized waves consist of photons that are in a superposition of right and left circularly polarized states, with equal amplitude and phases synchronized to give oscillation in a plane.Polarization is an important parameter in areas of science dealing with transverse waves, such as optics, seismology, radio, and microwaves. Especially impacted are technologies such as lasers, wireless and optical fiber telecommunications, and radar.


A polarizer or polariser is an optical filter that lets light waves of a specific polarization pass through while blocking light waves of other polarizations. It can filter a beam of light of undefined or mixed polarization into a beam of well-defined polarization, that is polarized light. The common types of polarizers are linear polarizers and circular polarizers. Polarizers are used in many optical techniques and instruments, and polarizing filters find applications in photography and LCD technology. Polarizers can also be made for other types of electromagnetic waves besides light, such as radio waves, microwaves, and X-rays.

Rayleigh sky model

The Rayleigh sky model describes the observed polarization pattern of the daytime sky. Within the atmosphere Rayleigh scattering of light from air molecules, water, dust, and aerosols causes the sky's light to have a defined polarization pattern. The same elastic scattering processes cause the sky to be blue. The polarization is characterized at each wavelength by its degree of polarization, and orientation (the e-vector angle, or scattering angle).

The polarization pattern of the sky is dependent on the celestial position of the sun. While all scattered light is polarized to some extent, light is highly polarized at a scattering angle of 90° from the light source. In most cases the light source is the sun, but the moon creates the same pattern as well. The degree of polarization first increases with increasing distance from the sun, and then decreases away from the sun. Thus, the maximum degree of polarization occurs in a circular band 90° from the sun. In this band, degrees of polarization near 80% are typically reached.

When the sun is located at the zenith, the band of maximal polarization wraps around the horizon. Light from the sky is polarized horizontally along the horizon. During twilight at either the Vernal or Autumnal equinox, the band of maximal polarization is defined by the North-Zenith-South plane, or meridian. In particular, the polarization is vertical at the horizon in the North and South, where the meridian meets the horizon. The polarization at twilight at an equinox is represented by the figure to the right. The red band represents the circle in the North-Zenith-South plane where the sky is highly polarized. The cardinal directions N, E, S, W are shown at 12-o'clock, 9 o'clock, 6 o'clock and 3 o'clock (counter-clockwise around the celestial sphere since the observer is looking up at the sky).

Note that because the polarization pattern is dependent on the sun, it changes not only throughout the day but throughout the year. When the sun sets toward the South, in the winter, the North-Zenith-South plane is offset, with "effective" North actually located somewhat toward the West. Thus if the sun sets at an azimuth of 255° (15° South of West) the polarization pattern will be at its maximum along the horizon at an azimuth of 345° (15° West of North) and 165° (15° East of South).

During a single day, the pattern rotates with the changing position of the sun. At twilight it typically appears about 45 minutes before local sunrise and disappears 45 minutes after local sunset. Once established it is very stable, showing change only in its rotation. It can easily be seen on any given day using polarized sunglasses.

Many animals use the polarization patterns of the sky at twilight and throughout the day as a navigation tool. Because it is determined purely by the position of the sun, it is easily used as a compass for animal orientation. By orienting themselves with respect to the polarization patterns, animals can locate the sun and thus determine the cardinal directions.

Second solar spectrum

The second solar spectrum is an electromagnetic spectrum of the Sun that shows the degree of linear polarization. The term was coined by V. V. Ivanov in 1991. The polarization is at a maximum close to the limb (edge) of the Sun, thus the best place to observe such a spectrum is from just inside the limb. It is also possible to get polarized light from outside the limb, but since this is much dimmer compared to the disk of the Sun, it is very easily polluted by scattered light.

The second solar spectrum differs significantly from the solar spectrum determined by the intensity of light.

Large effects come around the Ca II K and H line. These have broad effects 200 Å wide and show a sign reversal at their centres. Molecular lines with stronger polarization than the background due to MgH and C2 are common. Rare-earth elements stand out far more than expected from the intensity spectrum.Other odd lines include Li I at 6708 Å which has 0.005% more polarization at its peak, but is almost unobservable in the intensity spectrum. The Ba II 4554 Å appears as a triplet in the second solar spectrum. This is due to differing isotopes and hyperfine structure.Two lines at 5896 Å 4934 Å being the D1 lines of sodium and barium were predicted not to be polarized, but nevertheless are present in this spectrum.

Sokolov–Ternov effect

The Sokolov–Ternov effect is the effect of self-polarization of relativistic electrons or positrons moving at high energy in a magnetic field. The self-polarization occurs through the emission of spin-flip synchrotron radiation. The effect was predicted by Igor Ternov and the prediction rigorously justified by Arseny Sokolov using exact solutions to the Dirac equation.

Stokes parameters

The Stokes parameters are a set of values that describe the polarization state of electromagnetic radiation. They were defined by George Gabriel Stokes in 1852, as a mathematically convenient alternative to the more common description of incoherent or partially polarized radiation in terms of its total intensity (I), (fractional) degree of polarization (p), and the shape parameters of the polarization ellipse. The effect of an optical system on the polarization of light can be determined by constructing the Stokes vector for the input light and applying Mueller calculus, to obtain the Stokes vector of the light leaving the system. The parameters were named after Stokes first by Subrahamanyan Chandrasekhar.

Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory

The Triangle Universities Nuclear Laboratory, abbreviated as TUNL (pronounced as "tunnel"), is a tripartite research consortium operated by Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University. The laboratory is located on the West Campus of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. Researchers are now drawn from several other universities around the United States in addition to members from the founding universities. TUNL also participates in long term collaborations with universities and laboratories around the world. Funding for TUNL comes primarily from the United States Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Physics.TUNL operates three laboratory facilities, all of which reside on Duke University's campus. Two of the facilities, the Tandem Accelerator Laboratory and the Laboratory for Experimental Nuclear Astrophysics, are low energy charged beam accelerators. The third facility is the High Intensity Gamma-Ray Source (HIGS), which produces the highest intensity polarized Gamma ray beams in the world. TUNL is also involved in off-site research projects, including the Majorana Demonstrator Experiment, an ongoing Double beta decay experiment at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead, South Dakota.

Umov effect

The Umov effect, also known as Umov's law, is a relationship between the albedo of an astronomical object, and the degree of polarization of light reflecting off it. The effect was discovered by the Russian physicist Nikolay Umov in 1905, and can be observed for celestial objects such as the surface of the Moon and the asteroids.

The degree of linear polarization of light P is defined by

where and are the intensities of light in the directions perpendicular and parallel to the plane of a polarizer aligned in the plane of reflection. Values of P are zero for unpolarized light, and ±1 for linearly polarized light.

Umov's law states

where α is the albedo of the object. Thus, highly reflective objects tend to reflect mostly unpolarized light, and dimly reflective objects tend to reflect polarized light. The law is only valid for large phase angles (angles between the incident light and the reflected light).

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