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Optics Letters

Optics Letters

| RAPID, SHORT PUBLICATIONS ON THE LATEST IN OPTICAL DISCOVERIES

  • Editor: Alan E. Willner
  • Vol. 33, Iss. 7 — Apr. 1, 2008
  • pp: 642–644

Can a light beam be considered to be the sum of a completely polarized and a completely unpolarized beam?

Emil Wolf  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Letters, Vol. 33, Issue 7, pp. 642-644 (2008)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OL.33.000642


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Abstract

In a classic paper that may be regarded as the starting point of polarization optics, G. G. Stokes [Trans. Cambridge Philos. Soc. 9, 399 (1852)] presented a theorem according to which any light beam is equivalent to the sum of two light beams, one of which is completely polarized and the other completely unpolarized. We show that Stokes’ proof of this theorem is flawed. We present a condition for the theorem to be valid.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(260.0260) Physical optics : Physical optics
(260.5430) Physical optics : Polarization

ToC Category:
Physical Optics

History
Original Manuscript: January 4, 2008
Manuscript Accepted: January 23, 2008
Published: March 18, 2008

Citation
Emil Wolf, "Can a light beam be considered to be the sum of a completely polarized and a completely unpolarized beam?," Opt. Lett. 33, 642-644 (2008)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/ol/abstract.cfm?URI=ol-33-7-642

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