Why PILOTS CAN´T wear POLARIZED sunglasses? Explain by CAPTAIN JOE

  • Published on Sep 7, 2017
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    Dear friends and followers, welcome back to my channel, today´s video is a follow-up video to my recent topic, what´s in a pilots bag, I mentioned you shouldn´t buy polarized sunglasses as a pilot, and today I´ll be showing why!
    Now before we talk about a normal set of sunglasses and a pair of polarized ones and how they affect your vision we quickly need to discuss unpolarized and polarized light waves.
    The light emitting from the sun releases light particles, better known as Photons. These photons vibrate up and down, or side to side creating a bundle of light waves flying towards planet earth.
    Which means that the light provided by the sun flys in horizontal or vertical waves, therefore making the light waves unpolarized.
    But, the sunlight can untangle itself pretty easily. Those light particles just have to strike something, like a lake or in our case clouds, and they'll start vibrating in the same direction.
    Meaning all the photons start oscillating in the direction that's perpendicular to that surface. So, the light particles that bounce off a horizontal surface will then begin oscillating vertically.
    Meaning the reflected particles suddenly have fallen into sync reflecting as polarized light.
    Which brings us back to our polarized sunglasses. I admit the name was not well chosen, they should have called them "sunglasses with vertical or horizontal bars", which are able to block polarized light.
    So let´s say the sun light which gets reflected off a cloud, is coming vertically towards you, giving you that nasty glare. Now if you put on your polarized sunglasses with "horizontal bars" in them, they will block the vertical light waves and reduce the glare.
    Now you´ll think that´s great, cause pilots see sunlight reflecting clouds most of their time, so why can´t they wear polarized sunglasses? Here comes the problem!
    Watch the rest of the video to learn more about polarized sunglasses influence your vision in a modern airliner cockpit!
    Thanks for watching, all the best your "Captain" Joe
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  • Science & TechnologyScience & Technology

Comments • 2 311

  • omar mohammed
    omar mohammed 3 hours ago

    Best explanation ever heard regarding this topic

  • John Skiggs
    John Skiggs 2 days ago

    In the 1960s and 70s' they did wear polaroids, (but no glass displays) clearly much has changed. Great Helpful Vid' Thanks Capt' Joe :)

  • Rayid Av
    Rayid Av 3 days ago

    Please consider making a video about the life of a cargo pilot like who serves you , how do you spent time, how is like to be all alone over 35000 ft just two people

    KHUNPLOY RBM 5 days ago


  • Robert Autry
    Robert Autry 7 days ago

    You can’t read the cockpit instrument panel with polarize sunglasses

  • Meshageria Bezabih
    Meshageria Bezabih 7 days ago

    hello Mr joe '
    I am prospective trainee pilot in civil aviation looking for materials that are supplementary to my progress as student.Below is my email adress: meshu725@gmail.com. thanks

  • vinit lawande
    vinit lawande 10 days ago

    Hello Captain Joe.
    I had a question Why do Pilots where white colour shirt worldwide?. Is there some reason?

  • n0ckter
    n0ckter 12 days ago

    $60,000 IFR panel, but still no one can spare a few bucks for plasma displays.

  • jlastre
    jlastre 13 days ago

    Anyone who wears polarized glasses and has a smartphone knows this

  • Michel Gabriel Ramirez Fournier

    Cap...what about the classic combat pilot glasses? I mnean like the classic model top-gun??? It's like a cliché of all Pilot movies ir are truly useful?...

  • MrAmerican
    MrAmerican 15 days ago

    Polarized windshield

  • Carol Levine
    Carol Levine 21 day ago

    I have been watching your videos. Your videos are awesome. Very talented young man

  • Wyndham Coffman
    Wyndham Coffman 21 day ago

    (Cringe) light isn't a wave made of photons. Photons are the smallest packet of energy that can be seen as a wave of a particular amplitude and frequency, or a single positive/negative cycle; which acts like a particle when measured. On this scale it's best describe as a electromagnetic wave, and the polarization referring to the direction of the electric field. (the magnetic field being perpendicular to the electric field, do to the right hand rule)

  • feroz007ful
    feroz007ful 22 days ago

    in a video I saw, USA provides largest air navigation out side of its territory, or similar kind of things! Could you please tell me was was the actual thing it was? I can not remember the whole thing, neither I can found where did I see that! just I need to know what would be the actual information and its really urgent. Thanks in advance.

  • NEW OctanGaming234
    NEW OctanGaming234 23 days ago

    You deserve 1m subs rly

  • Fortnite Stuff
    Fortnite Stuff 23 days ago +1

    then i saw an ad in the top right corner for polarized sunglasses...

    rly youtube

  • Zephnir Hoodsmash
    Zephnir Hoodsmash 23 days ago

    Thank you Joe, Much love.

  • Finn Johnson
    Finn Johnson Month ago

    I’ve always wondered about that phenomenon when wearing sunglasses. Thanks

  • Lukas Polig
    Lukas Polig Month ago

    Where are you comming from?

  • Meganeura*
    Meganeura* Month ago

    Just what i thought!

  • Abdul Basit
    Abdul Basit Month ago

    Joe your videos really help and video help me to learn a lot. Thank you.

  • Sasuke Uchiha
    Sasuke Uchiha Month ago

    had no idea ...

  • Nasty Rasty
    Nasty Rasty Month ago

    Is this related to physics???

  • Roger Key
    Roger Key Month ago

    Basic idea is right, however the directions are backwards. Reflected light comes to your eyes as horizontally polarized. www.physicsclassroom.com/class/light/Lesson-1/Polarization

  • Tim Flights
    Tim Flights Month ago

    Hi, Captain Joe, this is Timothy Karsten. Can pilots wear polarized glasses for general stuff, for example wearing it while you are driving?

  • shanedude120
    shanedude120 Month ago

    This is so fucking true. I cannot read view my mobile phone screen on the car dash when it's horizontal . I was like wtf !

  • Pavel Drotár
    Pavel Drotár Month ago

    I especially appreciate the actual demonstration of the effect. Cool!

  • Kt Fly
    Kt Fly Month ago

    They should only wear ND -50.

  • Shahiq Imtiaz
    Shahiq Imtiaz Month ago

    Very well explained. 👍

  • Mas Rifqi
    Mas Rifqi Month ago

    So why there is polarized sunglasses? What is their function really? Why not every shades uses unpolarized one?

  • Phil Chia
    Phil Chia Month ago

    FAA should just allow all new displays with OLEDs. Superior in every way.

  • huzail khan
    huzail khan Month ago

    lovely smiling

  • Arya S
    Arya S Month ago

    Hez right guys... Happened today... My Mfd screen in d aircraft looked like rainbow... Luckily i had non polaroid glasses too... saved d day

  • TheTimeTraveler2025

    Captain Joe is a first officer... 😀

    ANGI SC Month ago


  • Nick C
    Nick C Month ago

    Capt Joe, you are so smart.

  • Jiacke Ella
    Jiacke Ella Month ago

    Classic Men's Fashion Gold Aviator Glasses .Fashion Clear Lens Aviator Eyeglasses - Adjustable nose grips for comfort fit. here more: www.sunglasshutusa.com/aviator-sunglasses-mens/mens-fashion-gold-aviator-glasse-49.html

  • Dhahlearn rixa
    Dhahlearn rixa Month ago

    Captain Joe is now a physics teacher😎 #unpolorised

  • Amaury Jacquot
    Amaury Jacquot Month ago

    do they plan on replacing those LCDs with OLED screens at some point ? (that would fix the issue)

  • Vara
    Vara 2 months ago

    Alternatively, go ahead guys and break your eyes for the lousy pay you get these days !!!! Also, do NEVER EVER forget, especially you JAA/EASA pilots sitting in A321s with 150 hrs Cessna and Seneca experience, ALWAYS FLY THE BOOK FIRST, then the plane !!! Which is what EASA/JAA basically wants. Be safe !

  • Eric Norcross Official
    Eric Norcross Official 2 months ago

    *touch and go* at instagram - very clever.

  • BadDinosaur65
    BadDinosaur65 2 months ago

    Anyone else hear music from Mass Effect? It starts when the photon illustration comes up.

  • Raj D
    Raj D 2 months ago

    Why they Don't they use AMOLED screen s in place of lcd displays...

  • datsuntoyy
    datsuntoyy 2 months ago

    That explains a lot. I can't see my phone when I have my sunglasses on. Also, some tempered windows show up full of "spots" with polarized sun glasses making it hard to see through.

  • Bimal Poovadan
    Bimal Poovadan 2 months ago

    How can i ask a question to Captain Joe ?

  • Mohammed Azeem
    Mohammed Azeem 2 months ago +2


  • James Dean
    James Dean 2 months ago

    First pair of polarized prescription glasses I had screwed me up big time at Atlanta. All the information screens were pitch black. My regular glasses were packed away.

  • Reinhard Welsing
    Reinhard Welsing 2 months ago

    See this recent video please... tvclip.biz/video/KU2Y8kkERRg/video.html

  • Andrew Ward
    Andrew Ward 2 months ago

    Same as your mobile phone and your heads up display on your car, polarised glasses make these expensive devices USELESS, Beware.....

  • HansDelbruck53
    HansDelbruck53 2 months ago

    Did he say "pre-pendicular", rather than perpendicular?
    In any case, this answer was much too long.

  • Garage Groen
    Garage Groen 2 months ago

    Great video, Captain Joe👍Nevher now, that you sometime DJ☺

  • Sebastian Ruiz
    Sebastian Ruiz 2 months ago

    Transition lenses work as polarized lenses? Cuz i have glasses and i'm a student pilot, any advises of what I can do?

  • Robert Sparkes
    Robert Sparkes 2 months ago

    Answers a ton of questions for a non pilot who wears polarized glass and loses sight of my auto gauges.... Thanks

  • Mythical Duck
    Mythical Duck 2 months ago +1

    Right before you were going to say that the video was sponsored by GlassesUSA, I got an advertisement for GlassesUSA

  • f x
    f x 2 months ago

    Which country are you from UK,Australia ? You look British but have that Australian flair to your accent

  • deborshi kashyap
    deborshi kashyap 2 months ago +5

    are pilots allowed to listen music during cruise

    • nGon-
      nGon- 2 months ago

      I would think so. I mean even surgeons often play music during operation, at their own discretion, and are trusted with knowing for themselves when to turn it off if they feel like it distracts them. If surgeons can be trusted with that during important operations, pilots should too, during steady flight. I'd think pilots do have to be ready to listen to communications at any moment, buy it's really easy to pause the music automatically.
      The only two reasons I could then think of why they might not be allowed to listen to music is either 1) it might cause hearing damage if the headset doesn't provide a good enough seal or 2) radio frequencies from radio stations might interfere with performance and communication, although these days you can of course easily download music so that's no longer a problem.

    • deborshi kashyap
      deborshi kashyap 2 months ago +1

      +HEDGE1011 are u pilot

    • HEDGE1011
      HEDGE1011 2 months ago

      deborshi kashyap No.

  • Ross Martin
    Ross Martin 2 months ago

    Captain Joe's grasp of the language is wanting.
    Pilots CAN wear polarized sunglasses, but SHOULD NOT wear polarized sunglasses.
    Please amend CJ.
    I think the problem has now been addressed though, so maybe the video information is obsolete?

  • sweet memories
    sweet memories 2 months ago

    Good explain bro. thanks

  • saad chalya
    saad chalya 2 months ago


  • Rudolf Wickond
    Rudolf Wickond 2 months ago

    Wear cinema glasses, each eye has a different polarization. Makes at least one eye see the intruments

  • Joe M
    Joe M 2 months ago

    Oh c'mon. You can wear polarized glasses. Do you REALLY need to see the monitor displays?

  • Sze Wan Mak
    Sze Wan Mak 2 months ago

    Wow....i learnt a lot!!! Thanks Captain Joe!!!!

  • Dan Slotea
    Dan Slotea 2 months ago

    Can't? Or shouldn't / are not allowed?

  • stefan w
    stefan w 2 months ago

    You're a corny prick

  • Samuel Lourenço
    Samuel Lourenço 2 months ago

    Unpolarized light vibrates in horizontal, vertical, and many diagonal ways. I guess that the fact that clouds polarize the light is untrue. They can refract the light, which is another phenomenon, but light polarization is only possible with optical filters, properties that clouds don't have. Clouds also don't have chiral constituents to affect polarized light (but even if they did, my first point prevails, because outdoor light is not polarized, and clouds don't polarize light). However, LCDs can be a problem with polarized light, since they use optical filters.
    Probably, polarized shades are affected by refraction, and that might explain the rainbow colors you see (but I don't think that this is an explanation, as probably your glasses, despite being polarized or not, may also refract the light further). If it was a consequence of polarization, you would either: not notice anything, see almost total darkness, or anything in between. If you break a set of polarized glasses in half and rotate one filter (or "lens") on top of the other, you'll see polarization effects and filtering in action.

  • Pawer8
    Pawer8 2 months ago

    I'm not sure you got the polarization right

  • Simon Ritchie
    Simon Ritchie 2 months ago

    Very informative and interesting, thanks!

  • ouanounours
    ouanounours 2 months ago

    Hum... Photons do not vibrate :-) It's the elecromagnetic field that oscilates ;-)

  • wyattswooten
    wyattswooten 3 months ago

    I remember learning this in highschool physics, cool to touch up on it.

  • PolishGirl
    PolishGirl 3 months ago

    Please polish language 😉😉

  • Orçun Altundağ
    Orçun Altundağ 3 months ago

    Solution is OLED panels.

  • My Name is Gladiator
    My Name is Gladiator 3 months ago

    Hey Joe. I wish you had mentioned if this is an issue with automobiles as they include more and more high tech displays. Do you know about this issue?

  • Tuco Salamanca
    Tuco Salamanca 3 months ago

    Thank you so much

  • Gabriel Gorospe
    Gabriel Gorospe 3 months ago

    Why does Captain Joe have only three bars. Shouldn't he be called FO Joe for now?

  • Hadley Scott McIntyre
    Hadley Scott McIntyre 3 months ago

    Depth of perception?

  • Ver64
    Ver64 3 months ago

    Thanks co-pilot Joe

  • Enrique Soto
    Enrique Soto 3 months ago

    I fly 737 classic ng and max for 20 years with my polarized glasses. No issues

  • captain shyam
    captain shyam 3 months ago

    Fantastic info. 👍

  • Olli Smith
    Olli Smith 3 months ago

    I never knew that before! I'm an aspiring pilot for British Airways, and this stuff is really good to know. Thanks Joe!

  • elchris414
    elchris414 3 months ago

    I know it's a stupid question, I'm new here, but what is General Aviation?

  • Frank Cordromp
    Frank Cordromp 3 months ago

    Thanks for the info! Didin't know that...

  • SumWon
    SumWon 3 months ago

    also in crop dusters, it makes it hard to see power lines, then things turn to shit quickly

  • Derrick Moore
    Derrick Moore 3 months ago

    Here's another question then... Are pilots allowed to wear prescription glasses when flying?

  • Diego Ortiz
    Diego Ortiz 3 months ago

    Hi Joe! Why dont' use LED screens?? They dont' use polarized filters.

  • Josh Sheets
    Josh Sheets 3 months ago

    All you need is a second pair of sunglasses tilted 45 degrees from the vertical and horizontal ones and it’ll let through some light again. It’s called the quantum venom diagram paradox. It’s really weird.

    GARASJEN 3 months ago

    Polarized glasses are excellent for road traffic and cars, removing glare from wet roads and shiny windscreen reflections. Unless you have a HUD.

  • B Ehlenberg
    B Ehlenberg 3 months ago

    Actually older pilots flew all the time with polarized sunglasses. Including those from the top gun era. The real fault is Boeing and Airbus for using cheap COTS screens in their commercial aircraft. If the sunglasses and the screens where compatible then this would never be an issue. You see the same problem in modern cars. Most LCD screens today where never designed to work in a bright sunlight environment, they where adapted to work there. It is really a shame that the designers did such a crappy job because polarized sunglasses do an exceptional job at reducing glare and during transition times near sunrise and sunset this is very helpful.

  • LORDdeath Gaming
    LORDdeath Gaming 3 months ago

    I did not know polarized glasses did that.or lcd screens where polarized.

  • Blue Blue
    Blue Blue 3 months ago


  • Mumble
    Mumble 3 months ago

    I'm not a pilot nor do I have any aspirations of becoming one, but damn these videos are entertaining .

  • Minecraftster148790
    Minecraftster148790 3 months ago

    Any physics people annoyed at 1:01?

    PANKI 3 months ago +4

    Those shades look rly bad on you! And you with them!

  • Rohan Joseph
    Rohan Joseph 3 months ago

    Excellent explanation! These are the same reasons why I don't wear polarized sunglasses while navigating ships. The bridge windows are also partly polarized and have heating elements in them and cause weird black bands when you look through them with polarized sunglasses on. most RADARS and Electronic navigation equipment on the bridge nowadays have LCD displays, so we have the same issues as you do if we were to look at these displays with polarized sunglasses on.

  • mako morales
    mako morales 3 months ago

    I learned sumthin

    RAFAEL MARQUEZ 3 months ago

    Hahaha grade 8 science again

  • Broken Piston
    Broken Piston 3 months ago

    So fly a Cessna 172 with anolog guages

  • James Richardson
    James Richardson 3 months ago

    Joe your lapels have three stripes does that not make your a first officer senior sure but an FO all the same calling yourself Captain is a little misleading. I’m just playing love the channel learn a lot you know your shit. I still think F,O,Joe, sounds better.

    HUSSAIN ALHAYKI 3 months ago

    The same issues are facing Drivers with less hazardous effect on earth as gauges cluster are becoming LED display

  • gamerdude4
    gamerdude4 3 months ago

    You can also go to a McAllister’s and do it with there menus

  • Phobophobia
    Phobophobia 3 months ago

    Answer at 2:30