Abstract

There is a phase difference between s and p polarizations when a circularly polarized heterodyne light beam is reflected from a birefringent crystal. It can be measured accurately with a common-path heterodyne interferometric technique. We have derived an equation that describes the relationship between the phase differences and n e, n o, and α. Two groups of solutions for (n e, n o) can be obtained from this equation by the phase measurements performed at three incident angles under moderate conditions. Each group consists of three pairs of solutions for (n e, n o). Finally, by justifying with physical conditions, we obtained the correct solution for (n e, n o). Azimuth angle α of the birefringent crystal optical axis can also be determined. And the feasibility of this method is demonstrated.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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