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Journal of the Optical Society of America

Journal of the Optical Society of America

  • Vol. 68, Iss. 2 — Feb. 1, 1978
  • pp: 149–157

Light propagation in twisted anisotropic media: Application to photoreceptors

Peter McIntyre and Allan W. Snyder  »View Author Affiliations


JOSA, Vol. 68, Issue 2, pp. 149-157 (1978)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/JOSA.68.000149


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Abstract

The propagation of light through a slowly twisting anisotropic medium is described by a coupled-mode theory; expressions are derived for the electric field for the case of a birefringent dichroic medium with a constant rate of twist. The method provides a simple and intuitive means for determining the effect of twisting on the linear birefringence and dichroic absorption of the medium, particularly when the light is initially linearly polarized. The theory is well suited to the analysis of light absorption in twisting insect photoreceptors, such as found in bees and ants. We provide full expressions and useful approximations for the polarization sensitivity and the initial direction of polarization to give maximum absorption for several types of photoreceptors.

© 1978 Optical Society of America

Citation
Peter McIntyre and Allan W. Snyder, "Light propagation in twisted anisotropic media: Application to photoreceptors," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 68, 149-157 (1978)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/josa/abstract.cfm?URI=josa-68-2-149


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References

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  18. The ellipticity is defined as the ratio of the lengths of the major and minor axes of the polarization ellipse. The usual symbol is η but here we use σ to avoid confusion with the waveguide parameter η.
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