[Physics] Circularly polarized light and polarizing filter

polarizationvisible-light

Does circularly polarized light pass through a linear polarizing filter, regardless of the orientation of such filter?

Best Answer

Yes it can pass, and will have the linear polarization of the filter. However, what they do in 3D movie goggles is to put in front of the linear polarizer a quarter wave filter. This polarizes the light in a specific direction, perpendicular relative to each eye.

This ensures that the circularly polarized light of each image passes only to one eye. Otherwise you will see a double image, because each linear polarizer will let light pass from both images (although with a different polarization) so it will be visible and you will no longer perceive a 3D image