# Elliptically Polarized Light

**Elliptically polarized light:**** **Considering the general expression for electric field of a plane wave propagating along z axis

..................... (1)

under the situation , The x and y components of electric fields are given by

........................ (2)

and

...................(3)

With some rearrangement equation 10 and 11 can be put together in the form

............... (4)

Equation 4 represents an equation of an ellipse with axis as E_{x} and E_{y} as shown in figure 1. The major (minor) axis of the ellipse making an angle of with E_{x} (E_{y} ) given by

The tip of the electric field vector sweeps an ellipse with in one time period in clock wise direction in x-y plane. Such a wave represented by equation (3) (or eq 4) is called as **right elliptically polarized ** wave.

fig..(1)

When the electric field associated with the wave is given by

...........................(13)

The tip of the electric field vector sweeps an ellipse in an anti clock wise direction and such waves are termed as **left elliptically polarized **waves.