Optical Activity - Glass In Karo Syrup Tank

Purpose

Exotic demonstration of optical activity.

Equipment

Karo syrup tank with stressed glass artifacts, rotating polarizing sheet.

Suggestions

Try not to disturb the various parts so that things fall over, etc. The Karo syrup gets pretty groty after a few years, and we don't want to have to go in there to fix it.

Setup Time

5 min

Images

m8-02

Description

A trapezoidal tank, lit from behind by polarized light from a rotating polarizer, contains various examples of optically active materials, including stressed glass. As the rear polaroid rotates a fixed polaroid on the front of the tank makes the patterns visible. This is a wonderful hallway demonstration.

References

Lecture Demonstrations Design Sketches and Calculations.