Abstract

We develop a theoretical description for polarizers that goes beyond the paraxial approximation. By combining existing theories for fields with nonplanar wavefronts, we are able to derive a simple power series expansion expressing the electric field of a light beam after a polarizer as a linear function of the field and its spatial derivatives evaluated before the polarizer. The first few terms of such expansion are explicitly given, and their physical meaning is discussed.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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