i fiddled again, dear doos. hope it did not change what you intended. also, i felt i needed to change "easy to comprehend" to "fairly easy" because i recently talked with someone who is not a dummy who expressed difficulty understanding polarized light. i must say, after reading this, it really isn't as difficult to understand as i used to think. Gemma 19:15, 26 November 2006 (PST)
Polarizers and pass through directions
It is a popular myth to explain the working of a polarizer with lines in one direction, where the light vibrating in the same direction is allowed to pass through.
The opposite is actually true.
When you look at the image, the left filter has a wire-frame that is horizontally aligned and is thought of to allow all waves that vibrate in the east-west direction to pass through. In reality only the waves vibrating in the north-south direction will pass through.
One can think of it in the following matter: when to light wave vibrates from left to right, the energy of the wave sets the electrons of the wire in vibration along the length of the wire and the energy will be absorbed by the wire. This in essence destroys the wave.
When the same wave would encounter a polarizer with wires in the horizontal direction, there is little room for the electrons to be set in vibration and the wave passes through (mostly). --Doos 05:23, 30 November 2007 (PST)