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Al Tobias (wat4y) - Office: Gibson S123 & Physics 218, (434) 924-0538

Physics Demo Manual

Demonstrations are cataloged according to PIRA Bibliography


Due to Physics Building renovations, the lead time to set up demo requests has increased due to the need to transport equipment across campus. Please be kind and let me know well ahead of time what you need.

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 Geometrical Optics
  video  - Polarization of Light
  video  - Polarization of Microwaves
 Polarization by Reflection
 Brewster's angle
 Optical Activity in Corn Syrup
 Polarization by Scattering
 The Eye

Polarization by Scattering


To show how light is polarized when scattered from small particles in suspension.


Fill fish tank about 3/4 full of water. Sprinkle in a small amount of Cremora/dairy creamer and stir to dissolve. Direct the laser beam and/or projector white light through the now cloudy water and study the polarization from the top and side with the polarizer. The light is found to be polarized perpendicular to the direction of its travel.


Do not make water too cloudy, the original beam should be seen at least through the half length of the tank


  • Small Fish Tank
  • Polaroid Filter
  • Cremora
  • Slide Projector
  • Laser