- A property of an electromagnetic wave which describes the time-varying direction of the electric field vector. Such polarization may be classified, for instance, as circular, elliptical, or linear, each of which describes the shaped traced by the electric field vector as a function of time. Polarization may also be defined in terms of the direction of the electric field with respect to a transmitting antenna or another reference, such as the surface of the earth, in which case it is said to have horizontal or vertical polarization. Also called polarization (2).
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