Unpolarized light contains all E-vectors, while plane-polarized light contains a single E-vector direction

A gallery of images of plankton viewed between two polarizers. In this particular setup, a normal transparent object would still be invisible. However, if the object, or animal, contains any birefringent substance, it will appear quite bright. Tissues such as muscle and tendon can be highly birefringent and are responsible for almost all the bright areas on these images. Photo composite: S Johnsen using images from E. Widder.

Related Links

Operation Deep Scope 2005

Operation Deep Scope 2005: Polarization Vision

NOAA Ocean Explorer Gallery