# Polarization of Electromagnetic Wave

How we can define the polarization of any electromagnetic wave?
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• An electromagnetic wave is composed of both an electric and magnetic wave which are coupled together. The polarization refers to the direction of the electric field.
• Thank you for the response! How many types of polarizations are there?
• Hi,

Mainly there are three types of polarization.

1. Linear polarization is when the electric field is limited to a single plane along the direction of propagation. If the orientation of the electric field of the electromagnetic wave is along the vertical direction than the wave is described as vertical polarization. If the electric field is in the horizontal direction than the wave is described horizontal polarization.

2. Circular polarization is when both the vertical and horizontal components of the electric field are perpendicular to each other and their amplitudes are equal, but their phase differs by is π/2

3. Elliptical polarization is when the electric field follows an elliptical propagation. In this case, the amplitude and phase difference between the two linear components are not equal.