Evolution of the polarization state for radiation propagating in a nonuniform, birefringent, optically active, and dichroic medium: The case of a magnetized plasma

Sergio E. Segre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)


First, the analytic expressions are derived that describe some properties of the Poincare´ sphere that are related to the coherent sum of two waves having different polarizations. Then these expressions are used to obtain the differential equation that describes the evolution of the state of polarization of radiation propagating in a medium that is nonuniform, birefringent, optically active, and dichroic. Finally, an important example is presented: That of a magnetized plasma in which particle collisions are not negligible, such as the earth’s ionosphere or certain laboratory plasmas. The evolution equation is the basis of plasma polarimetry. © 2000 Optical Society of America.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95 - 100
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the Optical Society of America A: Optics and Image Science, and Vision
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition

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