Abstract

A polarizing prism properly oriented was found to darken the sea relative to the sky, to reduce the brilliance of the sun path and to render the horizon more distinct. In bright weather it increased the visibility of objects against the sea background. Attaching polarizing prisms to a sextant and to binoculars improved these instruments in certain cases. Measurements of the light of the sea ruffled by a breeze from several hundred yards from the observer out to the horizon several miles away showed that the light was often more, and rarely less, than 2/3 polarized with electric vector mainly horizontal but tilted up under certain conditions, e.g., tilted up 30° for the sun bearing 90° and at 45° altitude. From the observations and theory it came out that the sea light was the light of the sky at about 25° to 35° above the horizon reflected by the sea, the reflecting facets of the sea surface being most frequently at about 15° to the horizontal. The width of the sun path calculated from this was in agreement with the observed width of about 6°, 14° and 18° in moderate weather for the sun at altitudes 10°, 20° and 30°, respectively. The explanation is given of a number of breezy sea reflection phenomena.

© 1934 Optical Society of America

Full Article  |  PDF Article
OSA Recommended Articles
Infrared radiance of the wind-ruffled sea

C. R. Zeisse, C. P. McGrath, K. M. Littfin, and H. G. Hughes
J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 16(6) 1439-1452 (1999)

Brightness and Polarization of the Daylight Sky at Various Altitudes above Sea Level

R. Tousey and E. O. Hulburt
J. Opt. Soc. Am. 37(2) 78-92 (1947)

References

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Citation lists with outbound citation links are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Cited By

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Cited by links are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Figures (6)

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Figure files are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Tables (1)

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Article tables are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Equations (9)

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Equations are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription