# Can circularly polarized light interfere with linearly polarized

• Albert V

#### Albert V

Can circularly polarized light interfere with linearly polarized light?

## Answers and Replies

Yes. You can think of circularly polarized light as the coherent sum of two orthogonal, linearly polarized waves that are 90 degrees out of phase. So the other linearly polarized wave will interfere with one of the components.

The two beams would have to come from splitting single beam.

The two beams would have to come from splitting single beam.

Why ?

The two interfering beams must be coherent. Two independent beams would have incoherent phase relations.

The two interfering beams must be coherent. Two independent beams would have incoherent phase relations.

They can be coherent and belong to different identical sources ?

Coherence is a bit of a red herring here. Do the Jones calculus and you can see quite clearly that a CP wave and a LP wave can interfere (or indeed, must interfere if they overlap spatially).

Claude.