Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Stanley K. Derby

Second Advisor

Donald K. Loving

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Chapter I


The rotation of the plane of polarization of plane polarized light when it passes through a substance in a direction parallel to an applied magnetic field is known as the Faraday effect and was discovered by Michael Faraday in 1845.1 It was found by experimentation that the amount of rotation of the plane of polarization was represented by the equation:

Θ = VH1 cos A

where H = magnetic field in gauss, 1 = simple path length in centimeters, A is the angle between the magnetic field and the direction of the light, and V is a proportionality constant known as Verdet's constant.2 Actually, V is a function of wavelength and temperature. For most measurements, however, wavelength and temperature are held constant and hence V remains constant. The rotation varies greatly with changes in wavelength and only slightly with changes in temperature. The sense of the rotation is defined as that which rotates in the sense of a right handed screw advancing in the first of the field.3

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