# Introduction to Spectropolarimetry (2003)(en)(244s) by Jose Carlos del Toro Iniesta

By Jose Carlos del Toro Iniesta

Whole review of spectropolarimetry for graduates and researchers.

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Extra info for Introduction to Spectropolarimetry (2003)(en)(244s)

Example text

5 Measuring the polarization state of quasi-monochromatic light To gain an insight into the physical meaning of the Stokes parameters it is necessary to grasp how they can be measured. If polarization means a definite motion of the electric field vector, one should account for directions of motion and phase differences between the two Cartesian components of the field. This is accomplished by means of two specific measuring devices: the linear analyzer and the linear retarder. An optical system is said to be a linear analyzer if it presents maximum transmission for the component E θ of the electric field in a direction forming an angle θ with the positive X axis and completely absorbs (or reflects) the component E θ+π/2 30 Polarization of quasi-monochromatic light Y X Ey Ex ␪ E␪ Z Fig.

The usefulness of complex notation is somehow counterbalanced by the added difficulty that arises because of sign conventions. 7) could have been written with a minus sign in the exponential argument as well, since the real part of E j would be the same. In that case, the new sign convention should be preserved whenever necessary in all ensuing transformations in order to get the right results: it is the price to be paid for using the otherwise convenient complex representation. As gently pointed out by Rees (1987) and others, sign conventions are very relevant in polarimetry and should always be borne in mind.

Note that only the real amplitudes appear in Eq. 15): the complex spatial exponentials cancel out; hence, the polarization tensor (and the energy flow) depends neither on time nor on space in the absence of sources and sinks. , intensities (or energies) except for a constant factor. They are the terms needed to evaluate both w and S. If one considers the electromagnetic wave as the superposition of two waves, one with the electric vector oscillating along the X axis and the other with the electric vector oscillating along the Y axis, ax2 is proportional to the intensity of the first wave and a y2 is proportional to the intensity of the second wave.