Poincare sphere and Degree of polarization

  1. Hi,

    Can someone explain the concept of "Poincare sphere"? What's the relationship between the Poincare Sphere and the Degree of polarization of EM fields?

  2. jcsd
  3. Andy Resnick

    Andy Resnick 6,144
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    The Poicare sphere is a way of describing the 4-component Stokes vector:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polarization (about 1/2-way down)

    The state of polarization is represented by a point on the sphere. Note: for fully polarized light, S_0 = 1 and the point lies on the surface of the sphere; partially polarized light has S_0<1 and so the point lies within the sphere.

    Going from the Stokes formulation to the Jones formulation can be a little tricky:


    Since the Stokes/Mueller forumlation is inherently statistical in nature, while the Jones matrices only hold for completely polarized light.

    Does that help?
  4. Thanks Andy. I will refer the wikipedia for more info.
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