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Color and polarized light Essay

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Updated: Nov 10th, 2018

To begin with, it is imperative to note that color is derived from the distribution of light particles over a given wavelength which interacts with the observer’s eyes at normal range. The color of an object is associated with its material and the associated source of light that shines over it. It is also based on how the very materials absorb, reflect or emit light.

The perception of color depends on the sensitivity of its wavelength to the relevant parts of the eye. It is therefore quantified by the degree at which various parts of the eye are affected. According to Barker and Katie (65), the entire process of vision demands complex study especially when the concept of polarization of light is brought into discussion. Light is therefore defined as a class of spectrum that gives rise to the same color impression.

In spite of the fact that there are varieties of eyes in the animal kingdom, it is profound to note that the manner in which living beings correspond to cues within their immediate environment is more or less the same. In any case, opsin photopigment proteins are used by all animals in the process of receiving and capturing rays of light. In addition, there are quite a number of purposes that are served by the visual system.

For instance, the photophobic or photophilic behaviors are integral during the process of detecting light. The next stage is whereby the detected light is absorbed and transferred to the circadian clock. This is also believed to the point at which polarization of light begins to take place. It is vital to mention that the aforementioned functions do make use of sophisticated neural processing or complex optics.

On the other hand, composition can be defined as the arrangement of line, color and shape in order to make a harmonized picture. Composition is an important aspect of art which shows an observer where and how to move the eyes when observing an object. This aspect gives any piece of art work the kind of value it is worth. This implies that bad composition cannot be overcome by any other aspect.
Light is a form of energy that is transmitted in waves which travel in a vacuum.

The main cause of these waves is the electric charges which vibrate continually. In addition, no medium of travel is required by these waves. In this case, light is said to be unpolarized when it is vibrating across several planes almost simultaneously (Born and Wolf 56). Hence, unpolarized light can be changed to polarized light when the vibrations are compelled to take place in a single plane. The process of changing unpolarized light to polarized light is typically referred to as polarization.

Methods of polarization

There are different methods used to polarize light, and the most common method used is the use of a polaroid filter. Hence, light waves that approach a surface can be easily blocked by polaroid filters. It filters half of the vibrations, and the other half is allowed to pass through in a single plane.

The polaroid is capable of blocking some of the vibrations because of its composition. It is notable that its molecules absorb all the vibrations that are parallel to the alignment of its molecules. This leads to the formation of polarization axis. The vibrations that are parallel to the axis pass through and those which are perpendicular are blocked (Barker and Katie 65).

When two filters are placed back to back, one may not be able to see through the filters. Light is polarized on passing the first filter and the vertical vibrations are blocked then the parallel ones pass the first filter. The vertical ones are blocked by the second filter bearing in mind that the axis is horizontal. As a matter of fact, all the light is blocked and as a result, one cannot see through.

The second most important method through which light can be polarized is through bouncing back if light particles from a reflective surface. This is referred to as polarization by reflection. Surfaces that are not metallic in nature can allow the process of Polarization in a much easier way. Reflection is the bouncing back of light upon striking a shinny surface. As such, metallic materials are known to reflect light in diverse directions.

On the other hand, non metallic materials reflect light in a way that the vibrations are concentrated in a plane parallel to the reflecting surface (Goldstein and Collett 130). An individual viewing an object using light reflected by these materials see a glare if the polarization is more intense. An example of this kind of polarization is the one which takes place in water. This explains why it may be quite cumbersome to visualize well objects that are under water. The effect created by polarization of light deters clear visibility of such objects.

Light is also capable of bending as it finds its way from one medium to another. Therefore, when light changes its direction of movement as it traverse one region to another, it is referred to as refraction. The latter is also a major determinant of polarization due to the new angle created when rays of light are refracted. For two refracted rays, which are polarized with a perpendicular direction a filter is used to block one of the images completely (Marshal 123).

When the axis of polarization is positioned at an angle of 90 degrees to the horizontal surface of the beam of light, there is a tendency of the beam of light being blocked while it increases the brightness of the other image.

When a beam of light undergoes the process of scattering, it results into significant disturbance of particles. As a consequence, the light particles are eventually polarized. In addition, it is worth noting that polarization itself can hardly take place in the absence of a medium even if light particles are scattered.

When light hits a material, it causes the atoms of the material to vibrate producing their own electromagnetic waves. These waves are directed in all directions and this process leads to scattering light which leads to partial polarization. It is as a result of this polarization which brings about washed out sky. It is a condition that is easily corrected by using Polaroid filters which block the partially polarized light (Horvath and Varju 88).

Applications of polarization

From the above discussion, it is vital to mention that one of the main applications of polarization is clearly brought out in the process of making sunglasses that reduce glare from bright light.

In large scale, polarization is used to analyze stress in transparent plastics. In this case, light is passed through the transparent plastic and the different colors of visible light are polarized. This form of polarization takes place in different directions. In addition, placing the plastic between two polarizing plates leads to formation of a pattern with many colors which change as the plates tilt.

The structural stress is shown by locations where the color bands are more concentrated.
Polarization is also used in entertainment especially in the production and illustration of the three dimensional movies. What happens in this case is that two movies are filmed at the same time from different camera positions, and then they are both projected from different sides into a metallic screen through a polarizing filter.

Both movies produce light which is polarized and the axis of one is perpendicular to the other (Marshal, 123). It is usually advisable to put on glasses which have a pair of Polaroid filters as part of protection. This results to one eye of the audience seeing one movie and the other seeing the other from a different projector giving them a perception of depth.
To recap it all, it is imperative to mention that polarization techniques have been instrumental to scholars towards finding information on color composition.

By understanding the effects of polarized light and unpolarized light, an individual is capable of understanding why the color of a certain object appears the way it is. In addition, polarization helps in understanding light as a wave and associated effects. Polarization also offers the reason why objects appear differently when in dim and bright light. It has been proved to be a very important process in color theory.

Works Cited

Barker, Brett and Masopust, Katie. Color and Composition for the Creative Quilter. London, UK : C&T Publishing Inc, 2005. Print.

Born, Max and Emil, Wolf, Pinciples of Optics: Electromagnetic Theory of Propagation. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2000. Print.

Goldstein, Dennis and Edward, Collett. Polarized Light: Optical Engineering. London, UK: Marcel Dekker publishers, 2003. Print.

Horvath, Gabor and Dezso, Varju. Polarization Patterns in Nature. New York, NY: Springer, 2004. Print.

Marshal, Gerald. Handbook of Optical and Laser Scanning. London, UK: Marcel Dekker, 2004. Print.

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