PURPOSE: To demonstrate birefringence in a calcite crystal.

DESCRIPTION: Light from a bright point source passes through an object (a letter F in a baffle), a calcite crystal, and a lens, which focusses the F onto a distant screen. The calcite crystal can be rotated in its baffle to show separation of the two polarization components. The rotatable polaroid at the right is inserted into the beam to demonstrate that the two component images are orthogonally polarized.


REFERENCES: (PIRA 6H35.15) See Demonstration I7-04: CRYSTAL MODELS - CALCITE for description of calcite crystal formation.

EQUIPMENT: Bright point source with condenser lens and iris, Letter F in baffle, calcite crystal in rotating mount, 15 cm convex lens, rotating polaroid on inserting mount.

SETUP TIME: 5 min.

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