# Transformation of light in anisotropic materials and devices

Event

Gabriel Spalding

2021

## Location

Center for Natural Sciences

4-4-2020 2:00 PM

4-4-2020 3:00 PM

## Disciplines

Education | Physics

## Abstract

The speed of light in a birefringent material varies by polarization, leading to the creation of a fast axis and a slow axis. This anisotropy may be utilized to impose a phase difference (or ‘retardance’) between components of the propagating electric field of light. A geometry which causes a phase difference of 90 degrees is called a quarter-wave plate and, in conjunction with a linear polarizer, can be used to produce circularly polarized light. In other words, the interplay between light and matter allows us the opportunity to tailor the information encoded into a laser beam.

We will first describe, mathematically, the properties of birefringent wave plates, such as the relationship between the input state of the light beam, plate orientation, and the output state. Utilizing polarization-selective beam splitters, photodiodes and a data acquisition system, these predictions can be checked by experiments.

## Share

COinS

Apr 4th, 2:00 PM Apr 4th, 3:00 PM

Transformation of light in anisotropic materials and devices

Center for Natural Sciences

The speed of light in a birefringent material varies by polarization, leading to the creation of a fast axis and a slow axis. This anisotropy may be utilized to impose a phase difference (or ‘retardance’) between components of the propagating electric field of light. A geometry which causes a phase difference of 90 degrees is called a quarter-wave plate and, in conjunction with a linear polarizer, can be used to produce circularly polarized light. In other words, the interplay between light and matter allows us the opportunity to tailor the information encoded into a laser beam.

We will first describe, mathematically, the properties of birefringent wave plates, such as the relationship between the input state of the light beam, plate orientation, and the output state. Utilizing polarization-selective beam splitters, photodiodes and a data acquisition system, these predictions can be checked by experiments.