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E4 - Optical Polarisation and Birefrigence

# E4 - Optical Polarisation and Birefrigence - NANYANG...

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NANYANG TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY School of Materials Engineering First Year Common Engineering S2 – G171 Laboratory Experiment Formal Report Optical polarisation and birefringence Submitted by Tran Duy Duong Lecturer in charge : Dr Tang Xiaohong Session 2002/2003

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OPTICAL POLARISATION AND BIREFRINGENCE 1.0 OBJECTIVE The objective of this experiment is to see the how light can be polarized and demonstrate the properties of polarized light. The experiment is divided into 3 following parts to achieve this objective : (i) To study how light can be polarized by absorption and to demonstrate the application of polarizer. (ii) To study the polarizing of light by birefringence and to demonstrate the application of a quarter-wave plate. (iii) To demonstrate how polarized can be used to display the stress distribution in an optical transparent object , using interference colour pattern. 2.0 INTRODUCTION: THEORY OF POLARIZATION OF LIGHT 2 .1 Polarized wave Polarization is the phenomenon in which a wave is made to oscillate in one plane only. Polarization is the specific phenomenon which can only happens to transverse waves. 2.2 Classification of polarisation of light wave Light is a transverse electromagnetic wave , which consists of the two components: electric field and magnetic field. These two fields fluctuate perpendicularly to the direction of propagation of light.
The direction of polarization is defined to be the direction of the electric field lines .E ( y-direction) The plane of polarization is the plane in which the electric field oscillate. Natural light is naturally unpolarized. The electric field and magnetic field fluctuate in all possible directions perpendicular to the direction of propagation. a. Linearly polarized light A linearly polarized light contains waves that only fluctuates in one specific plane. Such light can be represented by two perpendicular electric field components which are in phase and of equal amplitude. The total E- field vector therefore oscillates in the bisector of the two planes.

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b. Circularly polarized light Circularly polarized light consists of two perpendicular electromagnetic plane waves of equal amplitude and 90° difference in phase. Looking in the direction of wave propagation, the E vector is rotating around the x-axis as the wave propagates.
c. Elliptical polarization Elliptically polarized light consists of two perpendicular plane wave of unequal amplitude, one leading the other in phase by 90 o . Looking in the direction of propagation , the E vector can be seen to be

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E4 - Optical Polarisation and Birefrigence - NANYANG...

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