Polarisation Physics Magic!

IMG_20150814_172838-1Click through to check out a mini-video I’ve made showing a couple of cool tricks using two linear polarisers and sticky tape!! Spoiler alert: there will be lots of pretty colours! Physics is magic!! :) And you can easily do this yourself at home!




We did some cool physics arts and crafts at uni today and it was so much fun! Thanks to my PhD supervisor Dr. Peter Reece for the idea! Although I’m sure he’d like me to be working on my thesis instead of blogging… Oooops! Muahaha.

In the short video below you can see the results of stacking several layers of sticky tape and looking at it using two linear polarisers.

Can you guess how it works?

Hint: Google the term “Birefringence” :)

Birefringence Art
Birefringence Art

If you would like to make this type of art at home you will just need some clear sticky tape (make sure it’s clear and not white), some transparency paper (which you can buy here), and two linear polarisers (like these for example). I would love to see what you come up with!! You can share in the comments below or on my Facebook page :)

Thank you for reading!!

xx Ana :)


4 thoughts on “Polarisation Physics Magic!

  1. Hi Ana, this looks very interesting and I will try it for sure when I am back home from my vacancy. I wonder if I could take my circular polarizer that I habe for my lens instead of the sqare ones you used.


    • Hi Steffan :) You should be able to use the circular polariser as the second one (closest to the camera) but you will still need one linear polariser on the other side! I was going to try it this weekend to make sure but I forgot hehe, I hope it works!! Thank you for writing! :)


  2. Hi Ana,

    Thanks for sharing the tip. It’s fascinating what wonders you can do with light when you understand it. I’m a beginner to photography (with some science background myself) and articles like these keep the interest going!!



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