Abstract

The accuracy of various polarization attenuators is discussed, including systematic errors due to imperfections of the polarizers, setting errors of the rotating elements, alignment errors of fixed elements, and errors caused by oblique incidence and partial polarization of the incident light. Whereas the accuracy of conventional three-polarizer attenuators is limited to 0.001 transmittance unit, at least ten times more accuracy can be achieved with two new types of attenuators, which employ either a half-wave or a quarter-wave retardation plate in conjunction with two sheet polarizers.

© 1972 Optical Society of America

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