This paper describes a method for the mapping of spatially-distributed states-of-polarization of light with a simple and compact configuration. A tiny block of polarization-analyzing optics, consisting of four thin birefringent wedge prisms and a sheet analyzer, are incorporated into an imaging polarimeter, such that mesh-like multiple fringes are generated over a CCD image sensor of a video camera. Fourier analysis of the obtained fringes provides information for determining the two-dimensional distribution of the state-of-polarization. No mechanical or active elements for analyzing polarization are used, and all the parameters related to the spatially-dependent monochromatic Stokes parameters corresponding to azimuth and ellipticity angles can be determined from a single frame. The effectiveness of this method is demonstrated by a prototype incorporating calcite wedge prisms.
© 2003 Optical Society of America
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