We use the concept of turns to provide a geometrical representation of the action of any lossless multilayer, which can be considered to be analogous in the unit disk to sliding vectors in Euclidean geometry. This construction clearly shows the peculiar effects arising in the composition of multilayers. A simple optical experiment revealing the appearance of the Wigner angle is analyzed in this framework.
© 2004 Optical Society of America
(000.3860) General : Mathematical methods in physics
(120.5700) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Reflection
(120.7000) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Transmission
(230.4170) Optical devices : Multilayers
Alberto G. Barriuso, Juan J. Monzón, Luis L. Sánchez-Soto, and José F. Cariñena, "Vectorlike representation of multilayers," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 21, 2386-2391 (2004)