6H35.15 - Double Refraction with a Calcite Crystal
Show that a calcite crystal can doubly refract a beam of light.
Instructions Place the calcite crystal in the laser beam so that the beam passes along the optical axis. The beam is split into two components and two dots are formed on the wall. If the crystal is rotated, one beam will stay stationary while the other moves in a circle about the first beam.
If a polaroid is placed after the crystal, the polarization of the two beams can be shown by rotating either the crystal or the polaroid. One beam will again move aroudn the other, but now their intensities will change depending on the relative position of the polaroid.
If you place a second polaroid into the setup, past the crystal, so the two polaroids are crossed, then rotating the crystal will show that it splits the polarized beam into two polarized components.