Léon Laurent's polarimeter (1874)

Physicist Jules Jamin presented the Academy of Sciences with a polarimeter, an instrument for measuring the optical rotation power of substances contained in a solution. The device, manufactured by Léon Laurent, was based on the use of monochromatic yellow light emitted by a sodium lamp and a birefringent quartz blade. The device was met with notable success. It was used by pharmacists to perform quantitative and organic chemistry analyses to identify products and ensure their purity.