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Faraday Optical Rotation
edited by Ramon Torres-Isea
In this experiment students measure the effects of a magnetic field on the polarization of light (laser beam) propagating through, or reflected from, a solid transparent medium. The effect can be explained in terms of a simple model that relates the "optical activity" of the medium to the applied magnetic field. Students learn about

•Rotation of linearly polarized light by electromagnetic fields
•Connection to Zeeman Effect
•Atomic model of light propagation in dielectrics.

Prof. Paul R. Berman of The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, has recently published (March 2010) an American Journal of Physics article on three different calculations of the Optical Faraday Rotation (please see link below.)  Students are strongly encouraged to study this article.
1 supplemental document is available
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Modern Physics
- Atomic Physics
= Fine Splitting
- General
- Modern Optics
Quantum Physics
- General
- Quantum Experiments
- Upper Undergraduate
- Lower Undergraduate
- Instructional Material
= Laboratory
Material Category Formats Ratings
- Lab Manual
- application/pdf
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Safety Warnings
Advanced Labs Terms of Use Disclaimer Eye Protection Must be Worn   Strong Magnetic Field   Laser Beam   Minimal Danger  

Access Rights:
Free access
© 2009 Department of Physics - The University of Michigan
Faraday Rotation, Optical Rotation, Zeeman effect
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created March 24, 2010 by Ramon Torres-Isea
Record Updated:
July 30, 2011 by Bruce Mason
Last Update
when Cataloged:
May 6, 2010
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Record Link
AIP Format
, edited by R. Torres-Isea (2009), WWW Document, (
Faraday Optical Rotation, edited by R. Torres-Isea (2009), <>.
APA Format
Torres-Isea, R. (Ed.). (2010, May 6). Faraday Optical Rotation. Retrieved April 25, 2024, from
Chicago Format
Torres-Isea, Ramon, ed. Faraday Optical Rotation. May 6, 2010. (accessed 25 April 2024).
MLA Format
Torres-Isea, Ramon, ed. Faraday Optical Rotation. 2009. 6 May 2010. 25 Apr. 2024 <>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Title = {Faraday Optical Rotation}, Volume = {2024}, Number = {25 April 2024}, Month = {May 6, 2010}, Year = {2009} }
Refer Export Format

%A Ramon Torres-Isea, (ed) %T Faraday Optical Rotation %D May 6, 2010 %U %O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source %D May 6, 2010 %T Faraday Optical Rotation %E Torres-Isea, Ramon %V 2024 %N 25 April 2024 %8 May 6, 2010 %9 application/pdf %U

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Citation Source Information

The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

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Faraday Optical Rotation:

Is Supplemented By Optical Faraday Rotation AJP Article

The reference points to a recent article that describes new calculation methods (both classical and quantum mechanical) about the subject that this experiment is about.

relation by Ramon Torres-Isea

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