Abstract

We report on the design, construction, and testing of a four-mirror reflective polarization rotator, proposed by Smith and Koch [J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 13, 2102 (1996)], that rotates by an angle ϕ the input linear polarization while preserving the input–output beam collinearity. We correct errors in the previous work that led to an incorrect design for a ϕ=π/2 rotator. This type of pure rotator is simple and inexpensive, and it is a direct application of the concept of the nonadiabatic geometric phase to polarization rotation. We also present measurements of the polarization rotation for the case of three metallic mirrors with antiparallel input and output beams, a test of geometric phase in polarization optics not done before.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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