OPTI 380A Lab 6 Waveplates and Stokes Vectors - Procedures 2010-5

# OPTI 380A Lab 6 Waveplates and Stokes Vectors - Procedures 2010-5

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Revision 10/1/2010 Optics 380A Waveplates and Stokes Vectors 1 OPTICS 380A Lab 6: Waveplates and Stokes Vectors Be sure to answer the additional questions at the end of the procedures. Part A: Half-Wave Plate (HWP) and Quarter-Wave Plate (QWP) Use two linear polarizers (one as a polarizer, the other as an analyzer), a detector and a white light source (LED lamp) for the following: (A) Investigate the behavior of a half-wave plate . Orient the fast-axis of the half-wave plate at 45° with respect to the transmission axis of the first polarizer. Use the second polarizer as an analyzer. Looking back at the white light source, rotate the analyzer through 360° and describe what you see. What is the state of polarization of the light after passing through the half-wave plate? Next, set the fast axis of the half-wave plate aligned with the transmission axis of the polarizer. Determine the state of polarization and orientation of the transmitted light as the half-wave plate is rotated. What is the relationship between the input polarization, output polarization, and angle of the half-wave plate fast axis? (B) Investigate the behavior of a quarter-wave plate. Orient the fast-axis of the quarter-wave plate at 45° with respect to the transmission axis of the first polarizer. Use the second polarizer as an analyzer. Looking back at the white light source, rotate the analyzer through 360° and describe what you see. What is the state of polarization of the light after passing through the quarter-wave plate oriented at this angle?

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OPTI 380A Lab 6 Waveplates and Stokes Vectors - Procedures 2010-5

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