Featured in PASCO’s Physics through Inquiry Teacher Guide

Physics through Inquiry Teacher Guide

(PS-2873C)

Features over 30 inquiry based labs covering the core topic areas of mechanics, electricity and magnetism, optics, thermodynamics and more.

Polarization

Lab Summary

Use a light sensor to study the effects of polarization on light intensity and to explore Malus’ Law.

Theory

By passing light through two polarizing disks with their transmission axes oriented at various angles to each other students will study the effects of polarization on light intensity, and explore Malus’ Law.

Method

Students gain experience conducting the following procedures:

  • Using a light sensor to measure the intensity of light passing through two polarizing discs oriented at varying angles between their transmission axes.
  • Measuring and recording the angle of one polarizing disk relative to a second polarizing disk (usually referred to as the analyzer).
  • Plotting Light Intensity versus Angular Separation of Transmission axes for the polarizing disks.
  • Analyzing and drawing inferences from a graph of Light Intensity versus Angular Separation of Transmission Axes.
  • Plotting Light Intensity versus cos2 θ where θ is the angle between transmission axes of the two polarizing disks.
  • Analyzing and drawing inferences from a graph of Light Intensity versus cos2 θ for the angle between the transmission axes.

Sensors / Equipment Used:

PASPORT Light Sensor

(PS-2106A)

Features a wide measurable range by offering three light ranges accommodating various different measurement situations. For use with PASPORT Interfaces.

PASPORT Sensor Extension Cable

(PS-2500)

Allows an additional two meter length extension on all PASPORT sensors.

Materials Used:

Basic optics diode laser

Basic optics aperture bracket

Basic optics bench

Polarizing disks ~ 2

Polarizing disk accessory holder

The Associated Bundle:

Physics Standard Sensor Bundle

(PS-2931B)

Contains the probeware needed to perform all 37 lab activities in the Physics through Inquiry lab manual.

Interface Required

This experiment may require software and an interface for data collection.