Depolarization By Scattering - Wax Paper

Purpose

Demonstrate how scattering can depolarize light.

Equipment

Baffle with polaroid, mounted rotating polaroid, and wax paper with overhead projector.

Images

m7-33

Description

A polaroid rests in a baffle on the overhead projector platform. A second polaroid is mounted on the bottom lens of the mirror mount. Rotating the upper polaroid verifies the transverse nature of the light. A sheet of wax paper, placed on the polaroid sheet on the platform, depolarizes the light so that the field cannot be made dark by rotating the upper polaroid. This also demonstrates that it is not optical activity.