Abstract

Three alternate methods of obtaining spectra of the intensity and state of polarization of light are proposed. The methods make use of a two-beam amplitude division interferometer using the technique of Fourier spectroscopy. They can be applied to either emerging beam, source beam, or detector beam or to both. They do not require the presence of polarizers in the arms of the instrument. In one method (Method 2) a single analyzer is used in front of the detector with three successive orientations of its transmission axis azimuth (0°, 45°, 90°). In another method (Method 3) a (linear) polarizer assuming the same set of orientations is placed in the incident beam. A third method (Method 4), a hybrid of the former two methods, makes use of both a polarizer and an analyzer in the locations indicated. The latter method presents itself three alternate possibilities. Method 2 permits the determination of all four Stokes parameters of polarization, whereas Methods 3 and 4 cannot yield the ellipticity parameter. All methods require the recording of three interferograms. However, two interferograms can provide the intensity and degree of polarization in any of the methods described. The theory of our earlier method (Method 1, Fymat and Abhyankar, 1970) is also established more rigorously concerning the proposed interferometric arrangements, the applicability of the method to the source beam, and the possibility of deriving the orientation of the plane of polarization and the ellipticity from a single interferogram.

© 1972 Optical Society of America

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