Student Manual

This highly interdisciplinary experiment will expose the students to the wave nature of light and the concept of polarization. The experimenters will use a tabletop laser as a light source and will use polarizers to control the generation and transmission of polarized light. Furthermore, students will determine the optical activity of a chiral molecule. The experiment will also engage the students in an exercise whereby they will be asked to describe what is meant by “optimum” measurements.

Software Code Optics
Sample Results Verification of Malus's Principle
Hardware Manual Laser specifications
Commonly used circuits with photodiodes and phototransistors
Si Photodetector : 400-1100 nm, low power(818 Series / Newport photodecteor specifications)
Experiment Code 1.5
Version 16 November 2011

Further Readings and References


Pictorial Procedure

1. Provided apparatus

1. Provided apparatus

2. Mounting a polarizer

2. Mounting a polarizer

3. Rotating the optical axis clockwise

3. Rotating the optical axis clockwise

4. Adjusting height and orientation of a polarizer

4. Adjusting height and orientation of a polarizer

5. Opening the laserhead shutter

5. Opening the laserhead shutter

6. Input mode at GROUND

6. Input mode at GROUND

7. Input mode at DC

7. Input mode at DC

8. Polarizer A near the laser output

8. Polarizer A near the laser output

9. Polarizer B infront of the detector

9. Polarizer B infront of the detector

10. Mounting a sucrose cell

10. Mounting a sucrose cell

11. Setup for optical activity masurement

11. Setup for optical activity masurement