# What is a plane when talking about waves?

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#1
So I'm learning about polarisation, and how transverse waves can be plane polarised.

I keep seeing sentences like "If the vibrations change from one plane to another, the waves are unpolarised" I kinda of understand it...but please explain what is meant by a plane.
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#2
Is it just like a straight direction?
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5 years ago
#3
(Original post by Questioness)
Is it just like a straight direction?

http://www.physicsclassroom.com/clas...1/Polarization ~ Physics classroom is on point for learning physics, I reccoment you go there.

A plane of polarisation is basically the direction in which the wave oscillates. So from up to down, or from side to side.

Up/down/up/down is one plane, and left/right/left/right is another.

"If the vibrations change from one plane to another, the waves are unpolarised"
Vibrations are essentially oscillations. So:

If the oscillations change from one plane to another (for example; from Up/down/up/down to left/right/left/right) then the waves are unpolarised.

I hope i explained that well. If it didn't make sense, read the physicsclassroom link then read this again.

If it still didn't make sense then tell me
1
5 years ago
#4
(Original post by Questioness)
Is it just like a straight direction?
If a transverse wave is plane polarised then the vibrations are taking place in one plane only.

That probably didn't help. Incase you did not know, in geometry a plane is basically like a flat piece of card. Imagine drawing a generic transverse wave on a piece of card which has a wooden rod attached "going through" the wave in the direction of motion. In a non-plane polarised wave you could rotate the wooden rod to get the card to make a different angle to the horizontal (each different position for the piece of card is a different plane). In a plane polarised wave however you cannot rotate your piece of card. The waves can only vibrate in one, fixed, plane.
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#5
(Original post by Starvation13)
http://www.physicsclassroom.com/clas...1/Polarization ~ Physics classroom is on point for learning physics, I reccoment you go there.

A plane of polarisation is basically the direction in which the wave oscillates. So from up to down, or from side to side.

Up/down/up/down is one plane, and left/right/left/right is another.

"If the vibrations change from one plane to another, the waves are unpolarised"
Vibrations are essentially oscillations. So:

If the oscillations change from one plane to another (for example; from Up/down/up/down to left/right/left/right) then the waves are unpolarised.

I hope i explained that well. If it didn't make sense, read the physicsclassroom link then read this again.

If it still didn't make sense then tell me
That was one of the first websites I looked at, I was still a little confused. I 'kind' of understand it. So the oscillations have to be in the same direction, to be an plane-polarised wave.

Due to oscillations in different directions the unpolarised waves travels in more than one plane. Am I right?

I think I know what context to use them in, yet I'm still unsure of the meaning.

This is what I think of when I hear the wave is travelling in different planes. A bunch of squiggles when it's unpolarised and then one clear defined wave after it passed the Polaroid filter.
(A little like this)
Is it accurate?
Is the different waves due to different direction of oscillation, and this means the wave is travelling on different planes?
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5 years ago
#6
(Original post by Questioness)
So the oscillations have to be in the same direction, to be an plane-polarised wave.
Yes

(Original post by Questioness)
Due to oscillations in different directions the unpolarised waves travels in more than one plane. Am I right?
Yep

(Original post by Questioness)
This is what I think of when I hear the wave is travelling in different planes. A bunch of squiggles when it's unpolarised and then one clear defined wave after it passed the Polaroid filter.
(A little like this)
Is it accurate?
Nailed it

(Original post by Questioness)
Is the different waves due to different direction of oscillation, and this means the wave is travelling on different planes?
Could you rephrase that question, I don't quite get it.
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#7
(Original post by Starvation13)
Yes

Yep

Nailed it

Could you rephrase that question, I don't quite get it.
Ohh thank you . That last question was a mess, I don't quite get what I meant either. Doing physics in the morning does that to you I guess...
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5 years ago
#8
Planes fly, boats travel on waves.
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