Abstract

When voltage is put across a crystal of the type X H<sub>2</sub>PO<sub>4</sub>, the index ellipsoid in the crystal is rotated and the length of the axes changes. Two electro-optic coefficients are necessary to describe the effect in the most general plate of the crystal. The necessity for two coefficients is shown from consideration of the crystal symmetry. The behavior of Z-cut and X-cut plates are treated in detail. For Z-cut plates with the voltage in the <i>Z</i> direction the crystal becomes biaxial with the plane of the optic axes at 45° to the <i>X</i> and <i>Y</i> crystal-lographic axis. The retardation along the normal to the plate is directly proportional to the voltage and independent of the thickness. The characteristics of the polarization interference pattern for excited X and Z plates are discussed.

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