What is the meaning of polarization ratio?

  • #1
Cheesycheese213
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I was trying to research about polarizing lasers for an experiment, and there were some things that were confusing? A website said,
Screen Shot 2020-04-06 at 11.13.46 PM.png

I was wondering if the polarization ratio was the same as the extinction ratio?
Also, I was curious because I thought 100:1 would be a lot, and not much light would actually get past the polarizer. It still ended up relatively bright though, even after rotating the polarizer, so I also wasn't sure why that happened?
The diode laser I used was pretty weak (1mW I think), so I was wondering if that had anything to do with it, or if it was maybe just that my polarizer was inefficient.
Thanks!
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Andy Resnick
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
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I was trying to research about polarizing lasers for an experiment, and there were some things that were confusing?
I was wondering if the polarization ratio was the same as the extinction ratio?

Kinda-sorta. The terms mean the same thing (ratio between two orthogonal states), but 'extinction ratio' is used for devices that either absorb or otherwise block transmission of one polarization state.

Also, I was curious because I thought 100:1 would be a lot, and not much light would actually get past the polarizer. It still ended up relatively bright though, even after rotating the polarizer, so I also wasn't sure why that happened?

Because a 100:1 ratio is not very much, although fairly typical for laser sources. 'Good' polarizers have extinction ratios closer to 10^6:1.
 

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