Airy's diagrams on polarization, 1820s

Airy's diagrams on polarization, 1820s

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Credit: ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Airy's diagrams on polarization. These nine diagrams, showing different phases of polarization, were drawn by the English mathematician and astronomer George Biddell Airy (1801-1892). Polarization refers to the orientation of the oscillations of electromagnetic waves perpendicular to their direction of travel. This property of waves allows applications such as the blocking of polarised light by a filter. There are many applications of polarization in sciences ranging from physics to biology, chemistry and astronomy. Published in Transactions of the Cambridge Philosophical Society, Volume 4. This journal was published from 1822 to 1928.

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Keywords: 1800s, 1820s, 19th century, artwork, astronomical, astronomy, british, diagram, diagrams, drawing, english, george biddell airy, historical, history, history of science, illustration, light, optical, optics, philosophical society, physical, physics, polarisation, polarised, polarising, polarization, polarized light, polarizing, research, transactions of the cambridge

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