Several updated simulations are available for illustrating the behaviour of polarized light.


  • This one, by Tom Walsh, models a wave being polarized by passing through a vertical slit. It then passes through one, two, or three additional slits, as selected by the user, and each slit can be rotated independently.


  • This one, by Andrew Duffy, has a similar setup but skips the animated “wave.” Instead, it displays an intensity graph. It begins with unpolarized light, then passes it through three independently rotatable polarizing filters; the graph displays the intensity after each filter.


Additionally, check out these animations in Christian & Belloni’s Physlet Physics. 

  • In this initial animated illustration, you can display either a linearly or circularly polarized wave, then add a polarizing filter.

  • A variation is also available presented as a student activity, with discussion questions and a worksheet.

Check out the rest of their polarization menu for further student problems.