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Measuring the Stokes polarization parameters

Beth Schaefer
Edward Collett
Robert Smyth
Daniel Barrett
Beth Fraher
Journal / Anthology

American Journal of Physics
Year: 2007
Volume: 75
Issue: 2
Page range: 163-168

The Stokes formulation for representing polarized light is discussed along with the classical measurement method for determining the Stokes polarization parameters. The limitations of this method are noted, and we consider the rotating quarter-waveplate method, which avoids the limitations of the classical method and allows a curve fitting algorithm to be used to determine the Stokes parameters. The quarter-waveplate method is attractive because of its accuracy and simplicity and can be implemented in an undergraduate or graduate optics course with a minimum amount of equipment.

*Science > Physics

physics education, light polarisation, curve fitting