For examining preparations in polarized light a polarizer D is introduced n the illuminating apparatus below the diaphragm and an analyser E ai.
Malus that the interposition of a doubly refracting plate between a polarizer and an analyser regulated for extinction has the effect of partially restoring the light, and he used this property to discover double refraction in cases in which the separation of the two refracted streams was too slight to be directly detected.
The isochromatic lines, unless the dispersion be excessive, follow in the main the course of the curves of constant retardation, and the principal lines of like polarization are with a crossed polarizer and analyser dark brushes, that in certain cases are fringed with colour.
A spectroscope may be compared to a mechanical harmonic analyser which when fed with an irregular function of one variable represented by a curve supplies us with the sine curves into which the original function may be resolved.
Arago pointed out, by supposing that in passing through the plate the plane of polarization of each monochromatic constituent is rotated by an amount dependent upon the frequency - an explanation that may be at once verified either by using monochromatic light or by analysing the light with a spectroscope, the spectrum in the latter case being traversed by one or more dark bands, according to the thickness of the plate, that pass along the spectrum from end to end as the analyser is rotated.
The field is divided into two parts that for most positions of the analyser have different intensities, and the setting is effected by turning the analyser until both halves are equally dark.
When, however, a plate of quartz is used in this experiment, the light is coloured and is in no case cut off by the analyser, the tint, however, changing as the analyser is rotated.
When the retardation of phase for light of mean period is it or a small multiple of it a crystalline plate placed between a crossed polarizer and analyser exhibits in white light a distinctive greyish violet colour, known as a sensitive tint from the fact that it changes rapidly to blue or red, when the retardation is very slightly increased or diminished.
Thomson's tide gauge, tidal harmonic analyser and tide predicter are famous, and among his work in the interest of navigation must be mentioned his tables for the simplification of Sumner's method for determining the position of a ship at sea.
Thus a bar of glass of sufficient thickness, placed in the diagonal position between a crossed polarizer and analyser and bent in a plane perpendicular to that of vision, exhibits two sets of coloured bands separated by a neutral line, the double refraction being positive on the dilated and negative on the compressed side.