The action of a polarizer is conventionally determined only for a normally incident plane wave. In this work polarization characteristics of polarizers are evaluated for a general incident wave front using the plane-wave spectral representation. It is shown that even an ideal polarizer will transmit part of a cross-polarized wave if it does not coincide with the wave front. Some interesting polarization effects are demonstrated by application of the theoretical analysis to polarized spherical waves.
© 1984 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: August 18, 1983
Published: September 15, 1984
Yeshaiahu Fainman and Joseph Shamir, "Polarization of nonplanar wave fronts," Appl. Opt. 23, 3188-3195 (1984)