Polarisation is related to the orientation or oscillations of associated fields with light. If a light wave contains electric field vibrations in all the direction in a plane perpendicular to the direction of propagation it is called unpolarised light. When electric vector oscillations taken place along a straight line in a plane perpendicular to the direction of propagation of light, it is said to be plane polarized. The phenomenon of polarization is associated with transverse nature of light. The most important optical device in any polarized light producing arrangement is a polarizer. A polarizer is a device which has high electrical conductivity in a certain direction due to which when an electromagnetic waves passes through it, certain electric fields are absorbed and only electric field of certain direction are allowed to pass as shown in diagram.
If E is the electric field transmitted by the polarizer, only its component Ecosq parallel to the transmission axis of the analyzer would pass through. The intensity of the polarized light reaching the detector is given by Iq = I0 cos2q where q is the angle between the transmission axes of the polarizer and the analyzer. Equation Iq = I0 cos2q constitutes what is known Malus’ law.
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