Abstract

Using the phenomena of linear and circular birefringence, we propose a device that can alter general elliptical polarization of a beam by a predetermined amount, thereby allowing conversion between linearly polarized light and circularly polarized light or changes to the handedness of the polarization. Based on an analogy with two-state adiabatic following of quantum optics, the proposed device is insensitive to the frequency of the light—it serves as an achromatic polarization retarder.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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