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Homework Help: Polarization: minimum thickness for quater-wave plate

  1. Sep 27, 2011 #1
    a certain bifringement material has indexes of refraction n1 and n2 for the two perpendicular components of linearly polarized light passing through it. the corresponding wavelengths are λ10/n1 and λ20/n2, where λ0 is wavelength in vacuum. If crystal is to function as a quarter-wave plate, the number of wavelengths of each component within a material must differ by 1/4. show that the minimum thickness for a quarter-wave plate is

    d=λ0/[4(n1-n2)]

    i have no idea. i can see all the numbers are there, but i cant see how to actually "show" it.

    thanks
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 7, 2011 #2
    Yes, usually true zero-order wave plate is very thin, <100um depends on wavelength.
    The mostly used material is crystal quartz.
    What optical wavelength you are using?
    Maybe I can help to design, email: charles.chen@photonik.com.sg
     
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