Abstract

A new classification of circular polarization C points in three-dimensional polarization ellipse fields is proposed. The classification type depends on the out-of-plane variation of the polarization ellipse axis, in particular, whether the ellipse axes are in the plane of circular polarization one or three times. A minimal set of parameters for this classification is derived and discussed in the context of the familiar in-plane C point classification into lemon, star, and monstar types. This new geometric classification is related to the Möbius index of polarization singularities recently introduced by Freund.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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