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Ain Shams University Applied Optical Engineering

Faculty of Engineering MSc level

Communication Systems Engineering Spring 2018-2019

Polarization Exercise
1. A randomly-polarized light with spot diameter of 1 mm is incident at the angle of 45 degree
onto a plane-parallel plate of birefringent material (no = 1.658; ne = 1.486) in air. The optical
axis of the crystal is perpendicular to the plane of incidence. Find the minimal thickness of
the plate is to have the ordinary and extraordinary light beams output from the plate
separated (not overlapping).

2. An 8 mW random-polarized light is passed through two linear polarizers with angle 60

degree between their transmission axes. Calculate the output power.

3. A circularly polarized light with a wavelength of 600 nm, is normally incident on a crystal
retarder plate (no = 1.623 and ne = 1.656) with the optical axis, parallel to the plate faces,
with thickness 4.55 µm. Determine the polarization state of the emerging light.

4. A natural-light beam with intensity Ii passes through a system consisting of a polarizer P and
a quarter-wave plate. The light is then reflected by the mirror M and passes through the
plate and the polarizer in the opposite direction. Determine the intensity I2 of the outgoing
light as a function of the angle 𝛼 between the transmission axis of the polarizer P and the
optical axis of the plate O–O’.

5. Two linearly polarized beams with intensities 1 mW/mm2 and 2.25 mW/mm2 have an angle
of 30 degree between their directions of propagation. Find the interference fringes contrast
value in their area of overlap.

6. Birefringent filters are known for long time, however lately they gained high practical
importance due to the possibility of tuning them by a small voltage when made from liquid
crystals. Consider a filter that consists of a set of N birefringent crystal or plates each
between parallel polarizers oriented such that the polarizer axis makes an angle of 45o to
the optic axis. In other words, all the plates are oriented at an azimuth angle of 45o. The
plate thicknesses are in geometric progression, that is, d, 2d, 4d …The difference between
the fast and slow axis refractive indices is ∆𝑛
a) Find the Jones matrix of the arrangement
b) Show that the transmissivity (or the transfer function) of the arrangement is given by:

sin(2𝑁−1 Γ) 2𝜋𝑑Δ𝑛
𝑇 = ∏ 𝑐𝑜𝑠 2 (2𝑗−2 Γ) = ( ) ; Γ=
Γ 𝜆
𝑗=1 2𝑁 𝑠𝑖𝑛 (2)

where ∏ is the multiplication (don’t confuse it with the summation ∑ )

c) If the thinnest plate thickness d is equal to 𝑚𝜆/Δ𝑛, where 𝑚 is a positive integer, show
that the transfer function gives peak wavelengths, full width at half maximum (FWHM)
and free spectral range (FSR, which is the separation between the peak wavelengths)
are given by:

𝑑Δ𝑛 𝜆𝑝𝑒𝑎𝑘 𝜆𝑝𝑒𝑎𝑘

𝜆𝑝𝑒𝑎𝑘 = 𝐹𝑊𝐻𝑀 = 𝐹𝑆𝑅 =
𝑚 2𝑁 𝑚 𝑚+1

d) If the crystal gives Δ𝑛 = 10−3, design the filter (i.e. find m and N) such that it gives
𝜆𝑝𝑒𝑎𝑘 = 900 𝑛𝑚 and the 𝐹𝑊𝐻𝑀 ≤ 30 𝑛𝑚.
e) For your design find the FWHM, the FSR and the rejection ratio of the filter (ratio
between the transmission peak and the small ripples)

7. Complete the following sentences showing your detailed steps to reach the answer:
a) A half-wave plate is operating at 707 nm wavelength and has extraordinary and
ordinary refractive indices of 1.541 and 1.549. The plate thickness is …… µm.
b) An incident light is circularly polarized and has intensity 100 mW/cm2. The
output intensity of the light beam passed through two linear polarizers with angle
45 deg between the transmission axes is …… (Ignore the reflection of light from
the linear polarizer faces)
c) Linearly polarized light with polarization azimuth = 30 deg is incident at the
Brewster angle on a glass plane-parallel plate with n2 = 1.5 in air (n1 = n3 = 1.0)
when. The energy transmission coefficient is ……