Abstract

The Poincaré sphere representation is used to analyze the operation of wavelength-dependent birefringent optical networks. A broadband input signal is spread on the sphere into a linear spectral density of states locus, which is in general further deformed on passage through subsequent birefringent elements. Unlike alternative mathematical procedures, this representation gives a clear visualization of the evolution of the state of polarization within an element, the dependence of that state on optical wavelength, and the requirements of a practical device design. Finally, it makes possible the synthesis of a new class of networks not previously considered.

© 1981 Optical Society of America

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