In the phenomenon called “chromatic polarization,” which is shown by a crystal plate placed between Nicol prisms, viewed with white light, it has long been known that there are sensitive colors in the case of parallel as well as crossed Nicols. However, it has not been noticed that the former has greater sensitivity than the latter. In this paper, we shall show, as the result of a colorimetric analysis, that the sensitivity of the former is more than twice as great as that of the latter in the case of first-order interference colors. It was also found, that, to get maximum sensitivity, the sensitive color plate must have a suitable retardation, dependent on the temperature of the light source, as given by Eq. (4) of this paper. Combining these facts, the authors have found a simple but very sensitive method of examining quarter-wavelength plates.
© 1951 Optical Society of America
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