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Poincare sphere and Degree of polarization

  1. Jul 26, 2009 #1

    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. Jul 27, 2009 #2

    Andy Resnick

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    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. Jul 28, 2009 #3
    Thanks Andy. I will refer the wikipedia for more info.
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