Adjustment errors of sunstones in the first step of sky-polarimetric Viking navigation
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According to an old but still unproven theory, Viking navigators analysed the skylight polarization with dichroic cordierite or tourmaline, or birefringent calcite sunstones in cloudy/foggy weather. Combining these sunstones with their sun-dial, they could determine the position of the occluded sun, from which the geographical northern direction could be guessed. In psychophysical laboratory experiments, we studied the accuracy of the first step of this sky-polarimetric Viking navigation. We measured the adjustment errore of rotatable cordierite, tourmaline and calcite crystals when the task was to determine the direction of polarization of white light as a function of the degree of linear polarization p.
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