Polarimetry

However the waves of light still propagate through

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Unformatted text preview: t still propagate through space in all planes perpendicular to the beam of light. If a filter called a Nicol prism is placed in the path of the beam of light, it will act as a "slit" which will allow only those waves of light vibrating in one particular plane perpendicular to the beam of light to pass through the prism. The light which passes through the prism is called plane polarized light. If a second Nicol prism is placed in the beam of plane polarized light, the light will pass through the second prism only when the "slit" in the second prism is aligned with the "slit" in the first prism. If the "slit" in the second prism is not aligned with the "slit" in the first, no light will pass through the second prism. This effect can be seen with a pair of sunglasses with polarized lenses or a pair of polarizing camera filters. In essence, the polarized lenses or filters are Nicol prisms. If one lens is placed in front of the other and aligned in the same direction, light will pass through both lenses. If one lens is rotated while holding the other steady, the light will gradually dim, go completely dark, and gradually brighten. At the stage where there is no light passing through the lenses, the "slits" are essentially perpendicular to one another, and at the stage where the maximum light i...
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This note was uploaded on 03/06/2012 for the course CHEM 301 taught by Professor Sahli during the Spring '07 term at VCU.

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