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Understanding Poincare-sphere?

  1. Sep 15, 2011 #1
    Understanding Poincare-sphere!?

    Dear physicists,

    I have a huge problem understanding the working principle of Poincare-sphere. I know that the Poincare-sphere descibes a four-component Stokes vector and I know where I can find all forms of polarization (linear, circular, elliptical, ...).

    The problem I have is to show via the Poincare sphere what happens when we have +45° linear polarized light onto a quater waveplate (Quater waveplate: we have fast axis vertical and slow axis horzonal oriented). The output must be something left or right handed polarized. But I don't know how to read the result out of the sphere! I read several books and descriptions but I couldn't find a proper answer.

    Another point, does anybody knows how one can find the principal states of polarization on the Poincare-sphere?

    Many thanks

  2. jcsd
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