A light beam is said to be linearly polarized if the end-point
of the electric vector moves in a straight line when viewed along the direction of propagation
of the beam. If it moves along a circle the beam is circularly polarized and if it moves along an ellipse the beam is elliptically polarized.
is said to be right-handed if the direction of rotation is clockwise when viewed against the direction of propagation
and left-handed if the sense of the rotation is opposite. When the position of the endpoint of the electric vector is viewed at a given time t
as a function of distance along x, it forms a left-handed helix
if the light polarization
is left-handed and a right-handed helix
is it is right-handed.
PAC, 2007, 79, 293
(Glossary of terms used in photochemistry, 3rd edition (IUPAC Recommendations 2006))
on page 364
IUPAC. Compendium of Chemical Terminology, 2nd ed. (the "Gold Book"). Compiled by A. D. McNaught and A. Wilkinson. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford (1997). XML on-line corrected version: http://goldbook.iupac.org (2006-) created by M. Nic, J. Jirat, B. Kosata; updates compiled by A. Jenkins. ISBN 0-9678550-9-8. doi:10.1351/goldbook