Caption: Stress patterns in a plastic cup revealed in polarised light. The bands of colour show mechanical stresses in the plastic that have been fixed in place during its setting from its liquid state. This occurs as the plastic displays a property called birefringence, in which light rays with different polarisations experience a different amount of refraction. The difference in the refraction is directly related to the stress in the plastic. The rays produced interfere with each other, causing some wavelengths to be amplified and some to be cancelled out, producing bands of different colours when viewed through a polariser. This technique, known as photoelasticity, is used to visualise the stress patterns in materials.

Release details: Model release not required. Property release not required.

Keywords: analysis, beaker, birefringence, birefringent, black background, color, colors, colour, colours, constructive, cup, cups, demonstration, destructive, distribution, education, educational, interference, light, loop, loopable, material, mechanical, non-destructive, optical, optics, photoelastic, photoelasticity, physical, physics, polarised, polariser, ray, rays, rotating, science, stress, stresses, study, test, testing, three, transparent

Licence fees: A licence fee will be charged for any media (low or high resolution) used in your project.

Stress birefringence in a plastic cup

K004/0730 Rights Managed

Downloadable master

Duration: 00:00:31

Frame size: 1920x1080

Frame rate: 25

Audio: No

Format: QuickTime, Photo JPEG 100%, progressive scan, square pixels

File size: 1.1G


Capture format: DSLR - AVCHD

Codec: Apple ProRes 422 (HQ)

Please contact Science Photo Library if you require the original, or other formats.


Save watermarked comp

Request un-watermarked file

Price clip Pricing

Please login to use the price calculator