What is a Polaroid?
A Polaroid is a material which polarises light. The phenomenon of selective absorption is made use of in the construction of polariods. There are different types of polaroids.
A Polaroid consists of micro crystals of herapathite (an iodosulphate of quinine). Each crystal is a doubly refracting medium, which absorbs the ordinary ray and transmits only the extra ordinary ray. The modern polaroid consists of a large number of ultra microscopic crystals of herapathite embedded with their optic axes, parallel, in a matrix of nitro - cellulose.
Recently, new types of polariod are prepared in which thin film of polyvinyl alcohol is used. These are colourless crystals which transmit more light, and give better polarisation.