Public Lab Research note


Viewing mica through a polarizer

by warren | May 19, 2014 18:16 | 80 views | 2 comments | #10482 | 80 views | 2 comments | #10482 19 May 18:16

Read more: publiclab.org/n/10482


Mathew Lippincott has been collecting and posting research on low-cost approaches to silica detection; I saw this exhibit showing sheets of mica under a spinning polarizer, which was pretty cool. I thought perhaps there might be some way to spin a polarizer in front of a smartphone camera and measure the intensity signal over time, maybe in multiple color channels, to detect silica dust. Half-baked thought.


2 Comments

In my silica wiki page, I mentioned polarized light microscopy as a detection method, and yes, I'm looking into it.

What you see here is polarized light running through the mica and then through another offset polarized filter. thats where the color comes from. a single polarizing filter won't do this, you need the two stage pass through. The color is indicative of the stress in the material. here you can see it in polystyrene: IMG_20140517_215850.jpg

Reply to this comment...


Great, also linking back to this prior post! https://publiclab.org/notes/mathew/04-22-2014/frac-sand-mining

Reply to this comment...


Login to comment.

Public Lab is open for anyone and will always be free. By signing up you'll join a diverse group of community researchers and tap into a lot of grassroots expertise.

Sign up