RP Photonics

Encyclopedia … combined with a great Buyer's Guide!

VLib
Virtual
Library

The Photonics Spotlight

Unpolarized Single-Frequency Output

Posted on 2008-09-10 as a part of the Photonics Spotlight (available as e-mail newsletter!)

Permanent link: https://www.rp-photonics.com/spotlight_2008_09_10.html

Author: Dr. Rüdiger Paschotta, RP Photonics Consulting GmbH

Abstract: Unpolarized emission of a laser is a necessarily stochastic phenomenon, which cannot occur for a strictly monochromatic beam.

Dr. Rüdiger Paschotta

Ref.: encyclopedia articles on polarization of laser emission, single-frequency lasers

Did you ever encounter a single-frequency laser with truly unpolarized output? This question is a lot more tricky than it may seem. At least for strictly monochromatic emission, some defined polarization state is actually unavoidable, i.e., unpolarized emission is impossible. For any monochromatic laser beam propagation in z direction, the complex field amplitude Ex and Ey for oscillation in the two transverse directions must have some constant values, and depending on their magnitudes and phases, the polarization is either linear in some direction, or elliptical, or circular. Unpolarized emission is a necessarily stochastic phenomenon, which implies an optical spectrum which cannot be described with a delta function.

This article is a posting of the Photonics Spotlight, authored by Dr. Rüdiger Paschotta. You may link to this page and cite it, because its location is permanent. See also the Encyclopedia of Laser Physics and Technology.

Note that you can also receive the articles in the form of a newsletter or with an RSS feed.

How do you rate this article?

Click here to send us your feedback!

Your general impression: don't know poor satisfactory good excellent
Technical quality: don't know poor satisfactory good excellent
Usefulness: don't know poor satisfactory good excellent
Readability: don't know poor satisfactory good excellent
Comments:

Found any errors? Suggestions for improvements? Do you know a better web page on this topic?

Spam protection: (enter the value of 5 + 8 in this field!)

If you want a response, you may leave your e-mail address in the comments field, or directly send an e-mail.

If you enter any personal data, this implies that you agree with storing it; we will use it only for the purpose of improving our website and possibly giving you a response; see also our declaration of data privacy.

If you like our website, you may also want to get our newsletters!

If you like this article, share it with your friends and colleagues, e.g. via social media:

arrow