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Splitting a light beam into opposite circular polarizations?

  1. Jul 22, 2012 #1


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    Gold Member

    Is it possible to split a single light beam into two beams of opposite circular polarization?
    A properly oriented calcite crystal will separate a unpolarized beam into two beams, one vertically polarized and one horizontally polarized. Other polarizers pass just one polarization and absorb the perpendicular one.
    Is there a device that splits an unpolarized light beam into a right circulaly polarized one and a left circularly polarized one, instead of just absorbing one or the other?
    (If so, please tell me where I can buy one.)
    If not, is this theoretically impossible?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 22, 2012 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    You'd make one with a normal beam splitter and two quarter-wave plates.
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