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Appl Opt. 2014 Jan 10;53(2):184-8. doi: 10.1364/AO.53.000184.

Inverse conoscopy: a method to measure polarization using patterns generated by a single birefringent crystal.


A method to measure the full polarization vector of a laser beam is proposed and demonstrated. Light is focused onto a birefringent crystal cut such that the slow axis is aligned with the optical axis. The polarization vector of each ray experiences a rotation about the radial axis with a retardation phase dependent on the angle of incidence. Illumination over a wide range of angles applies a range of polarization transforms in parallel that generates a distinct pattern detected by a camera. The input polarization is then inferred from the pattern. The setup uses a single birefringent crystal and involves no moving parts.

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