Polarised Light Experiments

Click the pic for the polarised gallery!

Tonight, I took some experimental pics mucking about with the effect of polarised light on transparent objects. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while but I only realised tonight that I had a readily available source of polarised light. We actually spend a lot of our time looking at polarised light without being that conscious of it.

The shots have turned out quite well seeing as I was holding the objects by hand. I think if I rig up some kind of grippy doodad, I could lower the ISO and get sharper images. I also have to think of different objects to try out.

Taking these shots, my mind drifted to one of my favourite books, QED by Richard Feynman:

QED by Richard Feynman

It’s a wonderful book in which Feynman takes the layperson gently by the hand and leads them through an outline of quantum electrodynamics. If you’ve got enough of an attention span to still be reading this far, I think I can safely say you’d love this book as much as I do. Here’s one of my fave quotes from it:

What I am going to tell you about is what we teach our physics students in the third or fourth year of graduate school . . . It is my task to convince you not to turn away because you don’t understand it. You see my physics students don’t understand it . . . That is because I don’t understand it. Nobody does.

I admit, some of the stuff in it about reflection and diffraction hurt my head but it was a good hurt, a mind-expanding, brain-exercising hurt. You know, the opposite of what religion does to you.

Now, I’m off to try and think of some more polarised pics to take!