Definition of polarimetry

Polarimetry is a sensitive and non-destructive technique for determining the optical activity exerted by organic and inorganic compounds. If linearly polarized light rotates as it occurs, a compound is considered to be optically active. The amount of optical rotation is calculated by the concentration of chiral molecules and the molecular structure of the substance.

Polarimetry can be defined as the study of the rotation of polarized light by transparent substances. The direction and range of rotation are useful for quantitative and qualitative analysis and are also useful for the elucidation of chemical structure. Optical activity is the determination of the ability of certain substances to polarize light by rotating.


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