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By D.N. Clarke, J.F. Grainger and D. ter Haar (Auth.)

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When problems involving the combination of beams are encountered, the choice of calculus is governed by the coherence or incoherence of the beams. The conceptual and mathematical devices outlined in this chapter are sufficient for an understanding of the main p a r t of this b o o k (Chapters 4 a n d 5). Before embarking u p o n this, however, we shall review in Chapter 2 a number of phenomena which are used in devising optical elements for the measurement of polarization, and discuss the elements themselves in Chapter 3.

If we transform to spherical polar coordinates r, θ, φ then : r = /, θ = 2ζ ζ being the azimuth of the polarization ellipse, φ = 2 arctan η (1 — η) being the ellipticity. Thus, all linear polarizations (η = 0) are represented by points on the great circle in which the sphere intersects the MC-plane. S-axis intersects the sphere (φ = ± π / 2 ) correspond to circular polarizations of opposite handedness. Other points represent the whole range of ellipticities and senses of rotation of the electric vector.

The conceptual and mathematical devices outlined in this chapter are sufficient for an understanding of the main p a r t of this b o o k (Chapters 4 a n d 5). Before embarking u p o n this, however, we shall review in Chapter 2 a number of phenomena which are used in devising optical elements for the measurement of polarization, and discuss the elements themselves in Chapter 3. 42 CHAPTER 2 Some Interactions of Light and Matter PROGRAMME T h e polarization-sensitive elements used in optical measurement depend for their sensitivity o n certain basic interactions o f light and matter.

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