Fun with polariser sheets

Playing around with polarisers, like those found in polarising sunglasses, provides a good introduction to polarisation. Some exciting results can already be obtained by stacking and rotating two or three polariser sheets.

How to determine where your plastic ruler will break

Mechanical stresses inside a transparent piece of plastic (like a ruler) can be visualized by inserting the piece in between polarisers. This way, one can diagnose where this piece is most likely to break.

How to create polarised art

By stretching wrapping plastic and folding and stacking it, one can create a colorful piece of art that can only be fully appreciated by wearing polarising sunglasses or applying a sheet polariser.

How to measure the amount of sugar in your soft-drink

The amount of dissolved sugar in water or a soft drink can be determined without actually touching the liquid. Sugar has the intriguing property that it rotates polarisation. So, by measuring the amount of polarisation rotation one can determine the amount of sugar.