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Wave Plates

  1. Aug 2, 2011 #1
    If we put two identical quarter-wave plates together what will be the resulting plate? How would it be different from one of the quarter-wave plates?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 3, 2011 #2
    Please define "together".
     
  4. Aug 3, 2011 #3

    clem

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    If you put them in series with the axes aligned, you will get a half-wave plate.
     
  5. Aug 3, 2011 #4

    xts

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    Are you sure? Have you ever tried it? Putting in series? With 1mm distance between them? Or with just a small grain of dust between them?

    Y33t's question about meaning of 'together' was not so trivial...
     
  6. Aug 4, 2011 #5

    clem

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    Why would a distance between them affect the phase difference?
     
  7. Aug 4, 2011 #6
    PD < wave1 < wave2

    PD: propagation direction

    Assume all axis are aligned, wave1 and wave2 are seperated by a finite distance of d (origin of wave2 is d length right to wave1 in the PD). wave2 will travel more than wave1 in the direction of PD to reach any target along this path thus there will be a phase delay between these two waves. If there exists a target along the PD these waves will collapse and form an interference pattern on the surface. It's a modified version of the Michelson Interferometer.
     
  8. Aug 4, 2011 #7

    xts

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    Because of reflections.
    If two plates are are not glued together with immerse fluid you have two additional reflecting planes in the middle.
     
  9. Aug 26, 2011 #8
    This is the way to build a zero order wave plate, so you may have a half-wave plate or a zero order quarter wave plate. Zero order wave plate has better properties then the wave plate.
    Bye the way very good question and very proper time to ask it Aug2-11
     
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