Re: Fwd: Polarizes light snacks (fwd)

From: Paul Doherty (
Date: Fri Apr 16 1999 - 10:56:29 PDT

Hi Esther

Thanks for the feedback.
Because of comments like yours we have discovered that most gluesticks do
not polarize light very well. (Only the first batch we found of very clear
sticks polarized light well most sticks are so cloudy they scatter light
more than once.)

The speed of light in sugar does not depend on depth but it does depend on
whether the light is right circularly polarized or left circularly
polarized. The molecules have a handedness too and the handedness of the
molecules determines how they interact with the light.

The magnetic component of the light can be almost completely ignored as you
point out.

Linear polarized light is an equal, in-phase, sum of two circular
As the two opposite circular polarizations travel down through the sugar
solution at different speeds the phase of one changes relative to the
other. This changes the angle of the linear polarization.

I hope this helps.

Paul Doherty

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