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3 definitions found
 for Polarization
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Polarization \Po`lar*i*za"tion\, n. [Cf. F. polarisation.]
     [1913 Webster]
     1. The act of polarizing; the state of being polarized, or of
        having polarity.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     2. (Opt.) A peculiar affection or condition of the rays of
        light or heat, in consequence of which they exhibit
        different properties in different directions.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     Note: If a beam of light, which has been reflected from a
           plate of unsilvered glass at an angle of about 56[deg],
           be received upon a second plate of glass similar to the
           former, and at the same angle of incidence, the light
           will be readily reflected when the two planes of
           incidence are parallel to each other, but will not be
           reflected when the two planes of incidence are
           perpendicular to each other. The light has, therefore,
           acquired new properties by reflection from the first
           plate of glass, and is called polarized light, while
           the modification which the light has experienced by
           this reflection is called polarization. The plane in
           which the beam of light is reflected from the first
           mirror is called the plane of polarization. The angle
           of polarization is the angle at which a beam of light
           must be reflected, in order that the polarization may
           be the most complete. The term polarization was derived
           from the theory of emission, and it was conceived that
           each luminous molecule has two poles analogous to the
           poles of a magnet; but this view is not now held.
           According to the undulatory theory, ordinary light is
           produced by vibrations transverse or perpendicular to
           the direction of the ray, and distributed as to show no
           distinction as to any particular direction. But when,
           by any means, these, vibrations are made to take place
           in one plane, the light is said to be plane polarized.
           If only a portion of the vibrations lie in one plane
           the ray is said to be partially polarized. Light may be
           polarized by several methods other than by reflection,
           as by refraction through most crystalline media, or by
           being transmitted obliquely through several plates of
           glass with parallel faces. If a beam of polarized light
           be transmitted through a crystal of quartz in the
           direction of its axis, the plane of polarization will
           be changed by an angle proportional to the thickness of
           the crystal. This phenomenon is called rotatory
           polarization. A beam of light reflected from a metallic
           surface, or from glass surfaces under certain peculiar
           conditions, acquires properties still more complex, its
           vibrations being no longer rectilinear, but circular,
           or elliptical. This phenomenon is called circular or
           elliptical polarization.
           [1913 Webster]
  
     3. (Elec.) An effect produced upon the plates of a voltaic
        battery, or the electrodes in an electrolytic cell, by the
        deposition upon them of the gases liberated by the action
        of the current. It is chiefly due to the hydrogen, and
        results in an increase of the resistance, and the setting
        up of an opposing electro-motive force, both of which tend
        materially to weaken the current of the battery, or that
        passing through the cell.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  polarization
      n 1: the phenomenon in which waves of light or other radiation
           are restricted in direction of vibration [syn:
           polarization, polarisation]
      2: the condition of having or giving polarity [syn:
         polarization, polarisation]

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  46 Moby Thesaurus words for "polarization":
     N pole, S pole, agreement to disagree, anteposition, antigravity,
     antithesis, centrifugal force, confrontation, confrontment,
     contention, contraposition, contrariety, contrast, cross-purposes,
     diamagnetism, difference, difference of opinion, difficulty,
     disaffinity, disagreement, disparity, dividedness, division,
     hostility, magnetic axis, magnetic pole, magnetic repulsion,
     misunderstanding, mutual repulsion, negative pole, north pole,
     odds, opposing, opposition, opposure, polar opposition, polarity,
     pole, posing against, positive pole, repellence, repellency,
     repelling, repulsion, south pole, variance
  
  

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