OSA's Digital Library

Journal of the Optical Society of America

Journal of the Optical Society of America

  • Vol. 68, Iss. 4 — Apr. 1, 1978
  • pp: 518–521

Simulation of mechanical rotation by optical rotation: Application to the design of a new Fourier photopolarimeter

R. M. A. Azzam  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA, Vol. 68, Issue 4, pp. 518-521 (1978)

View Full Text Article

Acrobat PDF (486 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



The mechanical rotation of an optical element around the axis of a beam of polarized light can be easily simulated by using the phenomenon of optical rotation. Because optical rotation can be magnetically or electrically induced, virtually any kind of mechanical rotation can be mimicked. This interesting principle is applied to the design of a new Fourier photopolarimeter that uses an oscillating-azimuth retarder (OAR). The OAR consists of a quarter-wave plate surrounded by two ac-excited Faraday cells that produce equal and opposite sinusoidal optical rotations. Analysis of the operation of this polarimeter of no moving parts proves its ability to measure all four Stokes parameters of incident partially polarized radiation.

© 1978 Optical Society of America

R. M. A. Azzam, "Simulation of mechanical rotation by optical rotation: Application to the design of a new Fourier photopolarimeter," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 68, 518-521 (1978)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset


  1. G. E. Sommargren, "Up/down frequency shifter for optical hetrodyne interferometry," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 65, 960–961 (1975).
  2. K. Serkowski, "Polarimeters for optical astronomy," in Planets, Stars and Nebulae Studied by Photopolarimetry, edited by T. Gehrels (University of Arizona Press, Tuscon, 1974). pp. 135–174.
  3. D. L. Coffeen, "Optical polarimeters in space," in Ref. 2, pp. 189–217.
  4. R. H. Muller, "Present status of automatic ellipsometers," Surf. Sci. 56, 19–36 (1976); also in Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Ellipsometry, edited by N. M. Bashara and R. M. A. Azzam (North-Holland, Amsterdam, 1976).
  5. D. E. Aspnes and P. S. Hauge, "Rotating-compensator/analyzer fixed analyzer ellipsometer: Analysis and comparison to other automatic ellipsometers," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 66, 949–954 (1976).
  6. P. S. Hauge, "Survey of methods for the complete determination of a state of polarization," in Polarized Light: Instruments, Devices, and Applications, edited by W. L. Hyde and R. M. A. Azzam; alsoinProc. Soc. Photo-Opt. Instrum., Eng., 88, pp. 3–10 (1976).
  7. B. H. Billings, "The electro-optic effect in uniaxial crystals of the dihydrogen phosphate type," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 42, 12–20 (1952).
  8. J. C. Kemp, "Piezo-optical birefringence modulators: New use for a long-known effect," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 59, 950–954 (1969).
  9. R. M. A. Azzam, "Oscillating-analyzer ellipsometer," Rev. Sci. Instrum. 47, 624–628 (1976).
  10. See, for example, D. Clarke and J. F. Grainger, Polarized Light and Optical Measurement (Pergamon, New York, 1971), p. 124.
  11. Handbook of Mathematical Functions, edited by M. Abramowitz and J. A. Stegun (Dover, New York, 1965), p. 361.
  12. Z. Sekera, "Light scattering in the atmosphere and the polarization of sky light," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 47, 484–490 (1957); P. S. Hauge and F. H. Dill, "A rotating-compensator Fourier ellipsometer," Opt. Commun. 14, 431–434 (1975).

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited