The canonical point singularity of elliptically polarized light is a C point, an isolated point of circular polarization surrounded by a field of polarization ellipses. The defining singular property of a C point is that the surrounding ellipses rotate about the point. It is shown that this rotation is seen only for a particular line of sight (LOS) and, conversely, that there exists a unique LOS for every ellipse along which the ellipse is seen as a singularity. It is also shown that changes in LOS can turn singularities into stationary points and vice versa. The democratic behavior of polarization singularities and stationary points is a consequence of the fundamental “what you see is what you get” property of ellipse fields. Simple experiments are proposed for observing this unusual property of elliptically polarized light.
© 2004 Optical Society of AmericaFull Article | PDF Article
Isaac Freund and Ari Belenkiy
J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 17(3) 434-446 (2000)
Opt. Lett. 26(24) 1996-1998 (2001)
A. I. Mokhun, M. S. Soskin, and I. Freund
Opt. Lett. 27(12) 995-997 (2002)