OPS>TUTORIALS> Polarization ellipse universal polarizer

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Polarization state generated by universal polarizer

This demonstration draws the polarization ellipse generated by the universal polarizer (or the universal compensator in the context of birefringence measurement). Universal polarizer simulated here consists of one linear polarizer and two variable retardares. Variable retarders are assumed to be made of liquid crystals and labeled LCA & LCB. The demonstration also computes the normalized intensity (between 0 and 1) transmitted by the fixed analyzer (circular or linear) placed after the universal polarizer.

The unpolarized light passes through linear polarizer  and subsequently through LCA (oriented at 45 degrees with respect to the polarizer) and LCB (oriented along the polarizer).

The retardances of LCs are expressed in fraction of wavelength and the orientaiton of universal polarizer is the orientation of the linear polarizer within the LC.


The X and Y axes are assumed to be oriented from East to West and South to North, as usual. When mapping X and Y to microscope, the X axis goes from East to West on the stage and the Y axis going from South to North on the stage as we face the microscope. Circularity of elliptic state is said to be right-handed (clock-wise) or left-handed (counter clock - wise) from the point of view of the detector, not the source. 



Feedback and feature requests for this demonstration are welcome.

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Last Page Update on April 08 2015 12:14