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Polarizer vs. Analyzer — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on October 27, 2023
Polarizer is a device that converts an unpolarized light into polarized light. Analyzer is a device that measures or analyzes the polarization of light.
Polarizer vs. Analyzer — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Polarizer and Analyzer


Key Differences

A polarizer is a device used in optics to transform unpolarized light into polarized light, usually by selectively filtering a certain orientation of waves. An analyzer, on the other hand, is a device used to examine or measure certain properties of polarized light, such as its direction, intensity, or degree of polarization.
Polarizers are often used in photography to reduce glare and improve color saturation. They work by allowing only light waves vibrating in a particular direction to pass through. Analyzers are employed in various scientific and industrial applications to assess the properties of polarized light, helping to reveal information about the material through which the light has passed.
In the context of polarized light microscopy, a polarizer is placed below the specimen to polarize the light before it passes through the sample. An analyzer is then placed above the specimen to analyze the polarized light that has interacted with the sample, providing insights into the sample's optical properties.
Polarizers are critical in devices like LCD screens, where they ensure that the light is polarized before it reaches the liquid crystals. Analyzers are used in spectropolarimetry to study the polarization of light from astronomical sources, providing valuable data about celestial bodies.
While both polarizers and analyzers deal with polarized light, their functions are distinct: polarizers modify the state of the light, while analyzers assess or measure the properties of polarized light.

Comparison Chart


Converts unpolarized light to polarized light
Measures or analyzes properties of polarized light


In photography to reduce glare; in LCD screens
In scientific research; in spectropolarimetry


Placed before light interacts with the subject
Placed after light has interacted with the subject


Modifies the state of light
Assesses or measures the light's properties


In optics for light control
In scientific analysis for understanding material properties

Compare with Definitions


A polarizer is instrumental in improving image quality by reducing glare and enhancing colors.
By using a polarizer, she captured vibrant photos even under bright sunlight.


An analyzer is a device used to measure the properties of polarized light, like intensity or orientation.
The scientist used an analyzer to study the polarization of light from distant stars.


A polarizer is commonly used in sunglasses to reduce glare from horizontal surfaces.
The polarizer in his sunglasses made it easier to drive against the low sun.


An analyzer is crucial in laboratories for examining material properties using polarized light.
Using the analyzer, the researcher could identify the crystal structure of the mineral.


In LCD screens, a polarizer ensures light is properly oriented before reaching the liquid crystals.
The damaged polarizer caused the LCD display to show distorted colors.


An analyzer can be used to test the effectiveness of polarizers in various devices.
The technician used an analyzer to ensure the polarizer in the camera lens was functioning correctly.


A polarizer is a device that filters light waves to allow only those in a specific orientation to pass through.
The photographer used a polarizer to reduce the reflection on the water's surface.


In optics, an analyzer determines the degree of polarization and direction of polarized light.
The analyzer revealed unexpected changes in the light's polarization, indicating a new phenomenon.


A polarizer can be used in optical devices to control the direction of light waves.
He adjusted the polarizer in the microscope to get a clearer view of the specimen.


To examine methodically by separating into parts and studying their interrelations.


A polarizer or polariser is an optical filter that lets light waves of a specific polarization pass through while blocking light waves of other polarizations. It can filter a beam of light of undefined or mixed polarization into a beam of well-defined polarization, that is polarized light.


(Chemistry) To make a chemical analysis of.


To induce polarization in or impart polarity to.


(Mathematics) To make a mathematical analysis of.


To design so as to permit light only of a certain polarization
Are these sunglasses polarized?.


To psychoanalyze.


To cause to divide into two conflicting or opposing groups
The issue of slavery polarized the nation.


(US) an instrument for the analysis of something


To acquire polarity.


(US) a person who analyzes


To cause polarization of light or permit light of a certain polarization.


(optics) a type of polarizer


To become divided into two conflicting or opposing groups
The town is polarizing into opposing factions over the issue.


One who, or that which, analyzes.


One who polarizes; one who divides a group or community into two extremes.
A polarizer of opinions


The part of a polariscope which receives the light after polarization, and exhibits its properties.


(physics) Any device that produces polarized light.


An instrument that performs analyses


That which polarizes; especially, the part of a polariscope which receives and polarizes the light. It is usually a reflecting plate, or a plate of some crystal, as tourmaline, or a doubly refracting crystal.


In spectropolarimetry, an analyzer helps to understand celestial bodies by analyzing light polarization.
The analyzer provided data that helped astronomers understand the magnetic fields of galaxies.

Common Curiosities

Can a polarizer reduce glare in photographs?

Yes, a polarizer can significantly reduce glare and improve color saturation in photographs.

What is the main purpose of a polarizer?

A polarizer's main purpose is to convert unpolarized light into polarized light by filtering certain orientations.

Is an analyzer used in astronomy?

Yes, an analyzer is used in astronomy, particularly in spectropolarimetry, to study polarized light from celestial bodies.

Can an analyzer determine the direction of polarized light?

Yes, an analyzer can determine both the direction and degree of polarization of light.

Are polarizers used in sunglasses?

Yes, polarizers are commonly used in sunglasses to reduce glare from surfaces like water or roads.

Do polarizers affect image colors?

Yes, polarizers can enhance image colors by reducing glare and increasing color saturation.

Is an analyzer necessary for testing polarizers?

Yes, analyzers are often used to test and ensure the proper functioning of polarizers in various devices.

Do LCD screens use polarizers?

Yes, LCD screens use polarizers to ensure that the light is properly polarized before it reaches the liquid crystals.

Can analyzers be used in laboratory settings?

Yes, analyzers are widely used in laboratories for scientific research and material analysis.

Can analyzers help in understanding material properties?

Yes, analyzers are used in various fields to understand the optical properties of materials using polarized light.

What is the primary function of an analyzer?

An analyzer's primary function is to measure or analyze the properties of polarized light.

Do polarizers only allow light in one direction to pass through?

Yes, polarizers filter light, allowing only waves vibrating in a specific direction to pass.

Can polarizers and analyzers be used together?

Yes, polarizers and analyzers are often used together, especially in polarized light microscopy and spectropolarimetry.

Are polarizers used in microscopes?

Yes, polarizers are used in polarized light microscopy to control the direction of light passing through a specimen.

Can an analyzer reveal information about celestial magnetic fields?

Yes, analyzers can provide insights into the magnetic fields of celestial bodies by studying polarized light.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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