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Optical activity measurement by use of a balanced detector optical heterodyne interferometer

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Abstract

What we believe to be a novel amplitude sensitive optical heterodyne polarimeter in which a Zeeman laser is associated with balanced detector detection was set up. The aim was to measure the optical activity of a quartz crystal with a Cornu depolarizer at high accuracy. The features of this novel polarimeter, which include the use of a two-frequency laser that ensures the accuracy of the measurement, are discussed. Furthermore, the detection sensitivity of the optical activity of a quartz crystal was measured as 8.5×1010. To our knowledge, this is the highest sensitivity obtained for optical activity measurement of a quartz crystal when the error of the measurement is also analyzed.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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