Monday, May 6, 2013

What's The Deal With Polarization?

What exactly is polarization? Are all sunglasses polarized? Should they be?

Let's talk a little bit about what polarization is first. When light comes out of a single source, or point source, the light rays come out in an infinite number of directions. Kind of like the light coming from a star or street light. Polarized light is light that is traveling in only one direction or plane.

There are lots of times when polarized light is created naturally. Think of sunlight bouncing off of a snow-covered field or the surface of a pond. There are also lots of times when reflected light is NOT polarized, like the reflection off the chrome bumper of that car that was in front of you this morning on the highway! We can use polarized lenses in our sunglasses to choose exactly which type of light we see.

We can minimize glare while driving by wearing polarized sunglasses. Most reflected light is parallel to the ground; polarized sunglasses will block out these rays, allowing vertical rays to come through the lenses. The same thing is true on the water. When you are boating or fishing you can reduce glare by wearing polarized sunglasses.

Not all sunglasses are polarized. In fact, there are times when you DON'T want to have your sunglasses polarized. On the golf course polarization will make everything seem flat. Imagine how hard it would be to putt if you couldn't see the break on the greens!

Come visit us at the Sky vision Centers Optical to see our polarized sunglasses from Oakley, Nike, and Maui Jim!

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