Visualization of polarization state and its application in optics classroom teaching

Bing Lei, Shugang Liu, Wei Liu, Jianhua Shi, Wei Wang, Tianfu Yao, Xu Liu, Xi-Cheng Zhang
2017 14th Conference on Education and Training in Optics and Photonics: ETOP 2017  
Polarization of light and the related knowledge are key and difficult points in optical teaching, and they are difficult to be understood since they are very abstract concepts. To help students understand the polarization properties of light, some classroom demonstration experiments have been constructed by employing the optical source, polarizers, wave plates optical cage system and polarization axis finder (PAF). The PAF is a polarization indicating device with many linear polarizing
more » ... s concentric circles, which can visualize the polarization axis's direction of linearly polarized light intuitively. With the help of these demonstration experiment systems, the conversion and difference between the linear polarized light and circularly polarized light have been observed directly by inserting or removing a quarter-wave plate. The rotation phenomenon of linearly polarized light's polarization axis when it propagates through an optical active medium has been observed and studied in experiment, and the strain distribution of some mounted and unmounted lenses have also been demonstrated and observed in experiment conveniently. Furthermore, some typical polarization targets, such as liquid crystal display (LCD), polarized dark glass and skylight, have been observed based on PAF, which is quite suitable to help students understand these targets' polarization properties and the related physical laws. Finally, these demonstration experimental systems have been employed in classroom teaching of our university in physical optics, optoelectronics and photoelectric detection courses, and they are very popular with teachers and students.
doi:10.1117/12.2269496 fatcat:sze4o2mazrfk5lklz3pxlmfyj4