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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Bifrequency pendulum on a rotary platform to teach optical birefringence and liquid crystalline displays
Author(s): M. J. Soileau; Boris Ya. Zeldovich

Paper Abstract

Bifrequency pendulum on a rotary platform was tested and used for several years as a tool to teach various optical phenomena, mostly connected with the polarization of light waves. The following optical topics have found their mechanical analogs: linearity and superposition; damping; isotropy versus anisotropy; birefringence, uniaxial crystals; adiabatic following versus abrupt changes; liquid crystalline displays for watches, based on a twisted nematic cell; quantum-mechanical level anti-crossing; center-symmetric ((chi) (3)) nonlinearity and self- rotation of polarization ellipse; angular momentum conservation; non- center-symmetric ((chi) (2)) nonlinearity and second harmonic generation. This pendulum continues to serve as a source of ideas for new optical devices.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 October 1995
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 2525, 1995 International Conference on Education in Optics, (13 October 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.224054
Show Author Affiliations
M. J. Soileau, CREOL/Univ. of Central Florida (United States)
Boris Ya. Zeldovich, CREOL/Univ. of Central Florida (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2525:
1995 International Conference on Education in Optics
M. J. Soileau, Editor(s)

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