Plotting the polarization ellipse

  1. Hello,
    I am tasked with plotting the polarization state of a laser (basically I've made a polarimeter), but I really have no idea where to go at this point. Below is a sample of the program I have written with some real data that I just took from a laser. I have the intensity profile as a function of the rotational angle of a linear polarizing sheet that I am driving with a motor.

    How do I go from the intensity values as a function of the rotational angle of the polarizer to the polarization ellipse plot?

    Any help would be doing me a huge favor and would be greatly appreciated.

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. mfb

    Staff: Mentor

    Do you know the relation between intensity and amplitude? This way, you get the relation angle/amplitude, which can be plotted with your favorite plotting tool.
  4. So if I simply take the square root of the intensity value as a function of time I can plot that against rotational angle in a polar plot?
  5. I also have a quarter wave plate to distinguish between right and left circular polarization, but I am unclear on how to go about that also. This is a project for my work, and I am simply not up to speed on the requisite optics background to finish it is all. Thanks for any help!
  6. mfb

    Staff: Mentor

    As a function of angle not time, right.

    With a quarter wave plate, you could check the direction of rotation of the field - find out if you have more clockwise or more ccw polarized light.
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