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Polarization singularity democracy: WYSIWYG.

Authors
  • Freund, Isaac
Type
Published Article
Journal
Optics letters
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2004
Volume
29
Issue
15
Pages
1715–1717
Identifiers
PMID: 15352347
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The canonical point singularity of elliptically polarized light is a C point, an isolated point of circular polarization surrounded by a field of polarization ellipses. The defining singular property of a C point is that the surrounding ellipses rotate about the point. It is shown that this rotation is seen only for a particular line of sight (LOS) and, conversely, that there exists a unique LOS for every ellipse along which the ellipse is seen as a singularity. It is also shown that changes in LOS can turn singularities into stationary points and vice versa. The democratic behavior of polarization singularities and stationary points is a consequence of the fundamental "what you see is what you get" property of ellipse fields. Simple experiments are proposed for observing this unusual property of elliptically polarized light.

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