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What types of waves can be polarized?

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Apr 30, 2018


Only transverse waves can be polarized but longitudinal waves can't be polarized.


In a transverse wave, the direction of oscillation is transverse to the motion of the wave, so the oscillation can have different direction perpendicular to the direction of the wave.

Whereas, in longitudinal waves, such as sound waves, in a liquid or gas, the displacement of the particles in the oscillation is always in the direction of the propagation, so these waves don't exhibit polarization.

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