Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Polarimeter (Chemical)

Product image for Polarimeter (Chemical)Product image for Polarimeter (Chemical)
Product in use image for Polarimeter (Chemical)Product in use image for Polarimeter (Chemical)
Product image for Polarimeter (Chemical)Product image for Polarimeter (Chemical)

The Chemical Polarimeter is a device used for measuring the rotation of plane-polarized light caused by optically active substances such as organic, inorganic, or biological compounds.


The Polarimeter can be used to measure chiral properties of optically active samples without chemically modifying or destroying the sample. This is a vertical polarimeter that uses a 589 nm LED, a fixed polarizer, and a manually rotated polarizer to detect changes in rotation of plane-polarized light in the presence of an optically active compound. Used with Vernier technology, students no longer have to determine the optical maximum with their eye but have a graph that shows a clear change in the light’s polarization.

Sample Data



  • Encoder Resolution: 0.25°
  • Accuracy (optical rotation measurements): ±1°
  • Sensitivity: typically up to OD 2
  • Optical Encoder: Bidirectional, quadrature encoder, 360 cycle per revolution
  • Light Source: LED
  • Wavelength (nominal): 589 nm
Download the user manual for full specifications

Experiments and Lab Ideas

Lab Ideas and Innovative Uses

Identifying Sugars in Everyday Beverages

Do you have an innovative use for Vernier technology? What about a favorite lab or demo? We love to hear what creative uses people have for our products. Please email them to

Lab Ideas

  • Determine sugar solution purity by optical rotation.
  • Characterize the purity of organic and inorganic syntheses yielding chiral products.
  • Determine the enantiometric purity of optically active compounds.
  • Resolve racemic mixtures.
  • Study the kinetics of acid-catalyzed hydrolysis.
  • Study the kinetics of enzyme-catalyzed hydrolysis.
  • Explore the optical activity of amino acids.

Free Experiments

Preview and/or edit the polarimetry experiments for your curriculum by downloading the experiments below. The Student download includes objectives, materials, procedures, and analysis. The Instructor download includes notes, sample results and graphs, and answers.

Experiment Download
1 Understanding Polarimetry Student Instructor
2 Observing the Reaction Kinetics of Sucrose with Polarimetry Student Instructor
3 Isolation and Characterization of Protein and Sugar from Milk Student Instructor
4 Isolating the Enantiomers of 1-Phenylethylamine by Fractional Crystalization Student Instructor

Compatibility Requirements

The Polarimeter (Chemical) may require a compatible interface and software. Choose a platform below to see compatible interface and software options.

What’s Included

  • Vernier Chemical Polarimeter
  • One Chemical Polarimeter Sample Cell
  • User manual

Ordering Information

All prices are for U.S. educators.

NameOrder CodePriceQuantity
Polarimeter (Chemical)CHEM-POL$499
Optional Accessories
Chemical Polarimeter Accessory CellsCELLS-POL$66


Related Products

Educational use only: Vernier products are designed for educational use. They are not appropriate for industrial, medical, or commercial applications. Product usage disclaimer »

Go to top