The method of measuring birefringence properties using a quarterwave plate and an analyzer is examined, and explicit equations are derived for the case of a linear retarder and for a retarder–rotator system. These equations have been tested empirically by characterizing some previously known birefringent elements. In the case of a pure retarder agreement is generally better than 1°, while for retarder–rotator systems errors were typically 2° for retardation and between 1° and 2° for rotation. Possible sources of these errors are discussed.
© 1983 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: December 28, 1982
Published: July 15, 1983
Stewart R. M. Robertson, "Measuring birefringence properties using a wave plate and an analyzer," Appl. Opt. 22, 2213-2216 (1983)