Abstract

We present what to our knowledge is a new method for assessing the polarization optics of the cornea and lens, by examining the state of polarization of the first, second, and fourth Purkinje images. When linearly polarized light is incident on the cornea at 70° to the line of gaze along the horizontal meridian, and then traverses the cornea, or the cornea and the lens, the emergent light is elliptically polarized. The degree of ellipticity varies widely between subjects. The results indicate that both the cornea and the lens may be optically active and to our knowledge are the first to suggest that the cornea may exhibit circular birefringence.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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