Abstract

Using Jones’s formalism, we prove three optical reversibility theorems that relate the polarization ellipticity at the output of an optical system to the polarization of the retroreflected light at the input. We describe how these theorems can be used to measure the ellipticity of a polarization remotely and thus to control it remotely. As an example, we use this method to create a linear or a circular polarization after a total internal reflection inside a prism, and the impurity of polarization is found to be better than 10−3. Finally we describe the use of this remote control to create polarization configurations that are useful for laser cooling of atoms.

© 1993 Optical Society of America

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