Depolarization of elliptically polarized light in birefringent crystal

Łukasz Michalik, Marcin Redek, Piotr Leszek Makowski, Andrzej Witold Domański


During light propagation in birefringent medium, the state of polarization (SOP) changes and in case of partially coherent light the degree of polarization (DOP) also changes. Depolarization of linearly and circularly polarized light in birefringent media has been investigated experimentally for several years. Modified Mueller-Stokes formalism with the help of the depolarization matrix has allowed predictions of all the results of such research. However, the linear and the circular state of polarization are just the special cases providing the highest symmetry. By so far, the modified Mueller-Stokes method has not been verified in the case of elliptically polarized light. In the paper we present the results of research on depolarization of elliptically polarized light passing through a single birefringent crystal. The performed measurements verify quantitatively the theoretically predicted dependence of the output DOP and the ellipticity and azimuth angles of the polarization state of the light coupled into the crystal

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Photonics Letters of Poland - A Publication of the Photonics Society of Poland
Published in cooperation with SPIE

ISSN: 2080-2242