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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 19, Iss. 17 — Aug. 15, 2011
  • pp: 16508–16517

Weak value amplified optical activity measurements

Marcel Pfeifer and Peer Fischer  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 19, Issue 17, pp. 16508-16517 (2011)

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We present a new form of optical activity measurement based on a modified weak value amplification scheme. It has recently been shown experimentally that the left- and right-circular polarization components refract with slightly different angles of refraction at a chiral interface causing a linearly polarized light beam to split into two. By introducing a polarization modulation that does not give rise to a change in the optical rotation it is possible to differentiate between the two circular polarization components even after post-selection with a linear polarizer. We show that such a modified weak value amplification measurement permits the sign of the splitting and thus the handedness of the optically active medium to be determined. Angular beam separations of Δθ ∼ 1 nanoradian, which corresponds to a circular birefringence of Δn ∼ 1 × 10−9, could be measured with a relative error of less than 1%.

© 2011 OSA

OCIS Codes
(120.0120) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology
(120.5710) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Refraction
(260.1440) Physical optics : Birefringence
(160.1585) Materials : Chiral media

ToC Category:
Instrumentation, Measurement, and Metrology

Original Manuscript: July 11, 2011
Revised Manuscript: August 4, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: August 5, 2011
Published: August 11, 2011

Marcel Pfeifer and Peer Fischer, "Weak value amplified optical activity measurements," Opt. Express 19, 16508-16517 (2011)

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