The canonical point singularity of elliptically polarized light is a C point, an isolated point of circular polarization surrounded by a field of polarization ellipses. The defining singular property of a C point is that the surrounding ellipses rotate about the point. It is shown that this rotation is seen only for a particular line of sight (LOS) and, conversely, that there exists a unique LOS for every ellipse along which the ellipse is seen as a singularity. It is also shown that changes in LOS can turn singularities into stationary points and vice versa. The democratic behavior of polarization singularities and stationary points is a consequence of the fundamental “what you see is what you get” property of ellipse fields. Simple experiments are proposed for observing this unusual property of elliptically polarized light.
© 2004 Optical Society of AmericaFull Article | PDF Article
More Like This
Opt. Lett. 29(6) 539-541 (2004)
Opt. Lett. 29(8) 875-877 (2004)
Opt. Lett. 28(22) 2150-2152 (2003)