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Polarizing Filters NGSS

Buy 10 or more for $3.45 each
  • Polarizing Filter (2.75 in. x 2.75 in.)
    Item #: PF-3A
  • Buy 10 or more for $3.45 each
  • - +
  • Polarizing Filter (6 in. x 6 in.)
    Item #: PF-4
  • Buy 10 or more for $9.95 each
  • - +
  • Polarizing Filter (15 in. x 17 in.)
    Item #: PF-5
  • - +
  • Polarizing Filter (39 in. x 17 in.)
    Item #: PF-12
  • - +
These high quality plastic polarizing filters are perfect for all kinds of experimentation.

Description

When two polarizing filters are placed atop one another, they can be transparent or opaque to light. By rotating one of the filters, the transmitted light passing through the filters may be turned "on" or "off". Certain materials such as polyethylene, cellophane tape, plexiglass, and corn syrup can exhibit beautiful colors when placed between two polarizing filters.

These high quality plastic polarizing filters are perfect for all kinds of experimentation. Can be cut with scissors or an ordinary paper cutter. Sold individually. Available in various sizes. (Sizes are approximate.)

Please note: Our polarizing filters originate on a large roll and may be slightly curved when you receive them. If you need a filter to lie flat, you can bend it in the opposite direction to flatten it and/or place it between two heavy flat surfaces, such as text books.

Lesson Ideas

Download the pdf of this lesson!

When two polarizing filters are placed atop one another, they can be transparent or opaque to light. By rotating one of the filters, the transmitted light passing through the filters may be turned 'on' or 'off'. When the filters do not transmit light, the polarizing filters are said to be 'crossed polarizers'. Certain materials such as cellophane tape, Plexiglas, corn syrup, and stretched polyethylene exhibit beautiful colors when placed between two crossed polarizing filters.

Experiments:

  1. Place a piece of mica between two crossed polarizing filters. Each color represents a different thickness of the mica. Try rotating one polarizing filter. Try rotating the mica.

  2. When a piece of Plexiglas is placed between two crossed polarizing filters and squeezed, stress lines appear. Engineers use this method to discover the stress areas in new structural designs.

  3. Place a piece of polyethylene between two crossed polarizing filters. Then stretch the polyethylene by pulling it. Examine the stretched polyethylene sheet between the crossed filters.

  4. Use the special cellophane tape to create designs on a sheet of acetate. Then examine the results by placing it between two crossed polarizing filters. Rotate one of the filters.

  5. If you look at the words on a printed page through a crystal of calcite, you will see double. These natural, nearly transparent crystals exhibit the property of 'birefringence', i.e. they break light into two distinct polarized beams. By rotating a polarizing filter over the crystal, it is possible to view one image at a time. This phenomenon can be displayed using an overhead projector.

About Polarizers:
Only vertically oriented light waves may pass through the polarizing filter on the left. Only horizontally oriented light waves may pass through the filter on the right. If the filter on the left is placed on top of the filter on the right, no light will be able to pass through at all.

If the polarizing filters are aligned parallel to each other, light may pass freely through both filters. By placing transparent objects between two polarizing filters, it is possible to identify those materials which rotate polarized light!

Try sandwiching a plastic baggie between two filters and stretching it. When certain plastics are put under stress, they rotate polarized light. Try placing transparent tape between two polarizing filters. Some brands of tape work better than others. The more layers of tape, the more light is rotated.

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Reviews

12 reviews
Polarized Filters
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Mar 19, 2019
I needed a good number of polarized filters for my outreach program so I ordered a large roll of polarized filter from another company at a lower cost. I just had to cut the paper to the dimensions I desired using my paper cutter. However, if you do not require a large number, I would go with the filters E.I. offers. When my team of outreach presenters and I were at the National Science and Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C., 2016, I visited another booth headed by a professor from another university (I forget which one). He was using light boxes that are designed to use for tracing and other forms of artistic work. The kids were applying tape to acetate sheets and then placing the acetate sheet with the tape design between two polarized filters. The assembly was placed on the light box. Immediately, one could see a variety of colors and, as the top filter was rotated, the colors would change and, at times, the whole design would change. The light boxes are not needed but they add a nice touch to the entire activity. They are not inexpensive, $50 or more. Look carefully before buying. I have one that, at first, had three levels of light, came with a plug that could put in the AC socket. However, in a short time it quit working and the company did not stand behind their warranty. I now have 8 for my outreach program, which have been durable. Finding the right clear tape that would work was another challenge (because I did not look carefully through the EI catalogue to see that they sold the tape). I tried many, many tapes (anyone need some tape?) before I found one that works - Scotch Brand Shipping Tape - which is hard for young kids to use. Since getting tape from EI, I've eliminated this problem. Yay! Besides making designs with tape, we also have looked at clear plastic spoons, polarized glasses, and other objects that light is able to pass through. The effects are fascinating, difficult to explain to a young audience other than saying, "The different colors are rotated differently so they become separated." Not really good enough but going beyond that will only confuse them. It's even a challenge at the university level. I do highly recommend that you have at least one pair in your science bag of "instructional magic tricks."
Kenneth Lyle

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1   0

Very durable and great size
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Feb 11, 2019
I wanted to build a demo to teach kids about polarized light, and I needed to large polarizing sheets. The 6x6 in was perfect and the demo has been used all over the state. Would highly recommend!
Jeromy Rech

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0   0

Has Protective Plastic.
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Oct 25, 2016
At first, I thought these were scratched. Then, I read the reviews and replies and discovered there was a protective plastic on them. Yeay! I removed the covers, and they were even better. I'm happy about this purchase at a great price.
Melissa

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2   0

Polarizing filters
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Apr 20, 2016
great product at the best price around!
Jeff Erickson

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Question
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Mar 14, 2016
Can this be cut it dimensions greater than 3 feet by 17 inches I need quite a large piece
Martin ward
Owner Response: These can be cut to almost any size. Just call our customer service line, and we can get the order right out.

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Manager
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Mar 10, 2016
Great Polarizing filters. Must remember to remove the plastic.
Rebecca Griffey

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Manager
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Feb 29, 2016
They were all scratched up. Dozens of scratches on every single one.
Rebecca
Owner Response: Rebecca, someone from our customer service department will be in touch with you. I'm guessing that perhaps you have not removed the protective plastic that covers all our filters when they ship. If the actual filters are truly scratched, then we will certainly replace them at no cost to you.

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0   1

Neat Item!
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Dec 28, 2015
I bought some of these for my son, who is very science-y. He loved them! They are a great way to teach about electromagnetic radiation.
Lynne W

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Polarizing Filters
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Mar 8, 2015
These are really good filters for the price. I want to buy the UV bead thing that changes color in sunlight.
Bob Burruss

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0   0

Works Great
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon May 15, 2013
I'm using it to cut down on the sun glare on my security cameras.
Milton

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Polarizer films 6 x 6
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Oct 12, 2012
I purchased this items to do a demonstration of optical activity in my organic chemistry class. The films worked as expected.
Frank Yepez

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0   0

Above & beyond
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Jun 25, 2012
I ordered a set of polarizing lens for training on-line. I somehow entered the same order twice and immediately someone from customer service informed me that I had made an error. I really appreciate the excellent and above and beyond service for a great product. Thanks, Mae
Mae

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0   0

NGSS

This product will support your students' understanding of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)*, as shown in the table below.

Elementary Middle School High School

1-PS4-3

Students can use this tool to conduct an investigation of how different materials affect the path of a beam of light.

MS-PS4-2

Students can use Polarizing Filters to develop and use a model to describe how waves are reflected, absorbed, or transmitted through various materials.

HS-PS4-1

Students can use Polarizing Filters to conduct investigations and use mathematical representations to support a claim regarding relationships among the frequency, wavelength, and speed of waves traveling in various media.

Suggested Science Idea(s)

MS-PS4-2
HS-PS4-1

Students can use Polarizing Filters to experiment and model how light waves are altered when transmitted through various materials.

 

* NGSS is a registered trademark of Achieve. Neither Achieve nor the lead states and partners that developed the Next Generation Science Standards were involved in the production of, and do not endorse, this product.

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