Rotation Of Polarization - Polaroid And Wax Paper


To demonstrate two ways to change the polarization of light.


Bright point source with mounted crossed polaroids, extra polaroid, wax paper.

Setup Time

5 min




Light from a bright point source with condenser lens and iris passes through two polaroids to the observer.Crossing the polaroids stops light from reaching the observer. Inserting a third polaroid at an angle between the two crossed polaroids allows light to pass. That light can be stopped by rotating one of the other polaroids, demonstrating the component of a component of the vector electric field. Inserting a sheet of wax paper between the crossed polaroids causes a large amount of random depolarization due to multiple scattering. Rotating either of the originally crossed polaroids cannot s