Polarization of clear plastic - a puzzle

  • #1
15
0
I finished my online E&M class today, and the prof told us to experiment with polarizers. While doing that, I found this: I put a piece of plastic between two polarizers, and found that at a certain angle between the two polarizers, a portion - though not all - of the plastic darkened. So I assumed that portion of the plastic sheet was a polarizer, for whatever reason. And I also assumed that a single polarizer, when used with this piece of plastic, would show darkening. But when I used a single polarizer, nothing happened, no matter how I rotated the polarizer. So that means the plastic actually is not a polarizer, right? So what was going on when it was between the two polarizers? This piece of plastic happens to be semi-transparent red gift wrap, if that helps.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Andy Resnick
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
Insights Author
7,579
2,229
  • #3
15
0
Thanks Andy. So it sounds like I need to read up on wave retarders. I'll take a look at the plastic again later today.
 

Related Threads on Polarization of clear plastic - a puzzle

  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
22
Views
5K
  • Last Post
Replies
0
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
0
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
13
Views
6K
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
5
Views
5K
Top