Waves may be transverse or longitudinal.

Only transverse waves can be polarized.

A wave on a string is an example of a transverse wave. Light is a transverse electromagnetic wave so it can be polarized.

Sound is an example of a longitudinal wave; sound can not be polarized.

Color Vision


Return to Ch 23, Reflection and Refraction of Light

(c) Doug Davis, 2002; all rights reserved