Questions tagged [birefringence]

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Ray separation in waveplates

In a birefringent medium, the ordinary and extraordinary rays have different Pointing-vector directions and, therefore, different propagation directions, since the direction of the Poyting-vector ...
Kubrik's user avatar
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What is the meaning of a fiber cutoff wavelength when given as a range?

Many polarization maintaining fibers (for example Corning PM 1550) have a cutoff wavelength specified as a range (for example 1300-1440nm). What is the meaning of this range from the physics point of ...
Jimski's user avatar
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495 views

Skylight reflection shows birefringence patterns

I noticed that the skylight where I work looked white to me, but its reflection from the tiles below showed a colorful pattern. See the images below, and also a video that shows this effect from ...
AlphaLife's user avatar
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Need help with experimental setup to measure Birefringence [closed]

First message here, sorry if this is scrappy: I am looking to measure the birefringence of multiple crystalline structures (calcite, ice, etc), and came across this methodology: Shine a laser at ...
Pyreau's user avatar
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0 answers
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In a uniaxial crystal, what determines the optical axis, extraordinary axis, and ordinary axis?

In a uniaxial crystal there is an optic axis, an extraordinary axis, and an ordinary axis. The optic axis is not the direction in which we plan to propagate light. The light is propagating in a ...
Benzene enthusiast's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why do I see a rainbow when I look at Insulfilm with my sunglasses?

I'm wearing glasses with a sunglass clip-on. This means I have my regular glasses and, on top of them, I have a second pair of lenses that work as sunglasses and attach to my regular glasses using ...
Níckolas Alves's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
257 views

Unexpected laser pattern through calcite crystal

I've bought a calcite crystal and tried to see birefringence by shining a laser through it. I get a split spot in the centre of a sixfold pattern The hexagonal pattern resembles a diffraction pattern,...
mrf1g12's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
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Birefringince in 2D array of masses and springs

Assume a 2D square array of masses with mass $m$ connected by springs with constant $\kappa$. Then the equation of motion for small perturbations in the plane of the array to the mass at $(l,n)$ is $$ ...
JonTrav1's user avatar
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2 votes
3 answers
236 views

Why do birefringence materials have 2 refractive indices?

Why do birefringence materials have 2 refractive indices? In other words, what causes the material to have 2 refractive indices?
SHD's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
194 views

Rotation of the image formed by the extraordinary ray upon rotating the calcite crystal

Let a black spot is drawn on a piece of white paper. If we place a transparent calcite crystal on top of the paper, we observe two non-coincident images of the black spot. This is due to the ...
Solidification's user avatar
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0 answers
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Orienting birefringent crystal the right way in an interferometer

I'm working in a lab that involves transforming the polarization state of one beam of light in an interferometer via a Barium Borate (BBO) birefringent crystal. As the polarization state is altered ...
Jonathan L.'s user avatar
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136 views

What can be the possible causes for variation in stress-induced birefringence in an isotropic material?

Birefringence is the phenomenon of a material having a refractive index that depends on the polarization and propagation direction of light. When an unpolarized light passes through such a material, ...
Manas Pandey's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
97 views

Refractive Index Ellipsoid for Circular Birefringence Materials

When light travels through an anisotropic medium, its refraction may depend on both its polarization and propagation. Such materials may be classified in terms of their (Linear) Birefringence as ...
F.C.'s user avatar
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1 answer
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How in Faraday rotator, changing magnetic field will change the refractive index of RCP and LCP?

Can anyone mathematically prove how in the faraday rotator, when we change the magnetic field direction, it will change the refractive index of Right circularly polarized (RCP) and Left circularly ...
Ketan Karkare's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
128 views

Refractive indices of liquid crystal

Refractive indices of liquid crystal • The birefringence is critical to the optical properties of the liquid crystal and underlies many of the applications of liquid crystals. • By reorienting the ...
Sara 's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
188 views

Physical origin of Kerr effect

I was wondering if someone could explain to me the physical (not mathematical) origin behind the Kerr effect and why it results in birefringence in materials. Also, can the birefringence be introduced ...
Nikolaos M's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
123 views

Birefringence in uniaxial materials

In linear optics, when treating anisotropic uniaxial materials we get the frensel equation this equation gives us two solution for n. My problem is that according to Snell's law, if I have two ...
ziv's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
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Why is Nicol prism cut at 68 degrees specifically?

Why not just some other angle but this specific one? Does it help in some way to polarize the ray? I have tried searching everywhere, but they only show that the crystal is cut at an angle of 68 ...
Shaurya Nag's user avatar
-4 votes
1 answer
171 views

What is the refractive index of blood serum? [closed]

I'm looking for the refractive index of the blood containing the antibodies of covid-19.
1 vote
1 answer
171 views

Birefringent materials and Maxwell equation

Maxwell's equations define the speed of light in a given medium at a given point through the equation: $$\frac{\partial^2E}{\partial t^2}=\mu\epsilon\nabla^2E$$ so according to it, the speed of light ...
tachyon's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
468 views

How could light from a TV screen refract when viewed through a helmet's transparent visor? [duplicate]

How could light from a TV screen refract when viewed through a helmet's transparent visor?
Narasimham's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
366 views

Circular polarizer filter wavelength dependency?

I don't fully understand the circular polarizer filter (CPL) for my camera. It contains a linear polarizer and a quarter wavelength plate (QWP). The QWP causes a time delay between the ordinary and ...
jkien's user avatar
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Metamaterial with index of refraction different in opposite directions

Has anyone created a mathematical model for a material whose index of refraction is different going right than it is for light traveling to the left?
Dustin Soodak's user avatar
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0 answers
153 views

Birefringent filters: Showing that phase shift is inversely proportional to wavelength from my data

I started out by taking two sets of data for the crossed and parallel setup without the birefringent filter. The crossed setup being when destructive interference occurs and the parallel being ...
Feynboy's user avatar
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0 answers
32 views

Vacuum Birefringence with alternating EM waves

I read [1] that in the presence of strong static electric or magnetic fields in vacuum the refractive index changes in such a way that there is a difference of refractive index between parallel and ...
eeqesri's user avatar
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1 answer
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Why do we need cross-polarised light for observing conoscopic interference patterns?

I've performed some experiments for projecting conoscopic interference patterns. In some set-ups are used two circular polarizers one before and one after the birefringent crystal. I can imagine that ...
G M's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
430 views

Vacuum birefringence

Many of the papers (e.g., this) dealing with nonlinear electrodynamics treat a theory's prediction of vacuum birefringence as undesirable, but don't explain why it would be undesirable. For example: ...
S. McGrew's user avatar
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1 answer
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Does the polarized light lose intensity when it crosses a birefractive crystal?

If a beam of light coming from a natural source passes through a polarizer and then through a birefringent crystal, does the intensity with which it left the polarizer change?
Pedro P. Camellon's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
366 views

Torque on Quarter-Wave Plate

When circularly polarized light is passed through a quarter-wave plate, the plate experiences a torque. I understand this is true because angular momentum must be conserved, but I don't understand ...
James's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
131 views

What sort of polarizer is this?

I wanted to try to experiment with polarizers, trying the 3 polarizers 45 degrees from each other, and similar experiments. I ordered 10 sheets of the cheapest polarizing foil I could find on ...
SF.'s user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
1k views

What does the refractive index for e.g. alpha mean?

When I look for some materials like https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barium_sulfate and want to extract the refractive index then there is written: (nD)=1.636 (alpha). And sometimes also for beta and ...
Ben's user avatar
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Birefringent properties in Mylar films

Does Mylar film has birefringence properties? I am unsure about this and would like to know the reason behind its properties.
Tammy Chong's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
160 views

Why are birefringence materials so rare?

By symmetry, most crystals will show birefringence. But the effect is very minute. So the question is actually, why is the birefrigence effect in most low-symmetry materials so small?
poisson's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
312 views

Birefringent filter, optical path length difference?

In 'The Light Fantastic' by Kenyon, I.R. (p424), it is said that for a birefringent material inclined at Brewster's angle and who's optical axis lies in the plane of the plate, we have an optical path ...
Quantum spaghettification's user avatar
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1 answer
1k views

What happens if polarized light passes through calcite or some other birefringent material?

every explanation of birefringence I find talks about unpolarized light entering Calcite, but what if I use a polarized light? Will that mean that as I rotate the crystal the light will disappear then ...
magnolia1's user avatar
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1 answer
1k views

Application of Snell's law for an extraordinary wave?

I have read [1] that when the light enters a birefringent material with optical axis perpendicular to the plane of incidence that the angle of refraction of the extraordinary wave can be found by ...
Quantum spaghettification's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
50 views

optical homogeneity of organic thin films

Prior to further analysis (like variable angle ellipsometric spectroscopy) I check thin films of organic materials vacuum deposited on glass substrates for their optical homogeneity under lineraly ...
Buttonwood's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
5k views

Why don't extraordinary rays follow Snell's law?

I understand that ordinary ray (O-ray) and extra-ordinary ray (e-ray) have different refractive indices. This should mean O-ray and e-ray move with different velocities in a substance and they should ...
Paul's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
530 views

Significance of colours in photoelasticity

I already checked similar question at Physics SE, but none gives me a clear answer, also it is a bit difficult for me to understand it from wikipedia as I couldn't find relating material to my ...
user avatar
11 votes
6 answers
4k views

What causes polarised materials to change colour under stress?

Our physics teacher showed the class a really interesting demonstration. He used two polarised filters in opposite orientations, then he took some antistatic tape and stretched it under the two plates....
Thomas O's user avatar
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