This paper was written at the suggestion of Mr. Mieth Maeser, in response to numerous inquiries concerning the methods of photoelastic analysis in use at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

By the use of any of the usual photoelastic methods the difference of the principal stresses and their direction at any point in a suitable loaded specimen are determined, and through a knowledge of Poisson’s ratio their sum is obtained (and a solution made possible) by a measurement of the lateral deformation of the specimen by means of an interferometer strain gage. This instrument, together with its accessories and their use, is illustrated and described in the paper. Examples of the problems solved by the use of the instrument show its accuracy and the consistency of the results obtained by the method.

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