Haidinger's brush

Susan Houde-Walter

It is commonly appreciated that light in the sky is partially polarized and that some insects (e g., honey bees) use the polarization for cues in navigation. It is less well appreciated that our eyes can also detect polarized light and that we can distinguish the azimuth of linearly polarized light under rather common circumstances. The accompanying visual effect is called Haidinger's brush.

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Haidinger's brush

Susan Houde-Walter

It is commonly appreciated that light in the sky is partially polarized and that some insects (e g., honey bees) use the polarization for cues in navigation. It is less well appreciated that our eyes can also detect polarized light and that we can distinguish the azimuth of linearly polarized light under rather common circumstances. The accompanying visual effect is called Haidinger's brush.

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Publish Date: 01 December 1990


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