Photoelasticity for Designers by R. B. Heywood, D. J. Silverleaf and G. Blackburn (Auth.)

By R. B. Heywood, D. J. Silverleaf and G. Blackburn (Auth.)

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There are probably many plastics which possess internal stress, or which can be given the required degree of internal stress by prestraining the material. Lee, Meadows and Taylor(451) have made 12 in. square A/4 plates from cellulose acetate sheet, in which the manufacturing processes happened to introduce the correct amount of retardation. The acid test for successful A/4 plates is undoubtedly their stability under laboratory temperatures and humidities. The axes of a A/4 plate may be found by placing the plate between a crossed polarizer and analyser, and rotating it until there is extinction of light.

FIG. 2. Composition of circularly polarized light. On emerging one component is 90° behind the other, say a2 is behind a±, so that at some point öi = —— smcoi V2 m A A a2 = —7^ sin (ωΓ+90°) = — - cos ωΤ γ2 γ2 The resultant displacement is obtained by the vectorial addition of the two perpendicular components, as illustrated in Fig. 3) V2 It will be seen from the figure that this relationship is satisfied when the two perpendicular displacements are represented by a point moving uniformly in the path of a circle, so producing circularly polarized light.

1(a), or its polarizing axis can be vertical, when light is transmitted to give a light field, as in Fig. 1(b). From this analysis we see that the question whether light will or will not pass through the polariscope is determined simply by the relative orientations of the polarizer and first A/4 plate with respect to one another, and by the relative orientations of the second A/4 plate and analyser with respect to one another, so producing two basic arrangements. In practice, certain imperfections in the various components may make it advisable to experiment with the choice of orientations, so that the best performance is achieved.

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