We explore the behavior of a class of fully correlated optical beams that span the entire surface of the Poincaré sphere. The beams can be constructed from a coaxial superposition of a fundamental Gaussian mode and a spiral-phase Laguerre-Gauss mode having orthogonal polarizations. When the orthogonal polarizations are right and left circular, the coverage extends from one pole of the sphere to the other in such a way that concentric circles on the beam map onto parallels on the Poincaré sphere and radial lines map onto meridians. If the beam waist parameters match, the map is stereographic and the beam propagation corresponds to a rigid rotation about the pole. We present an experimental example of how a symmetrically stressed window can produce these beams and show that the predicted rotation indeed occurs when moving through the beams’ focus.
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