We develop the Jones and Mueller matrices for structures that allow control of the path length difference between two linear orthogonal polarizations and consider the effect of placing multiple devices in series. Specifically, we find that full polarization modulation (measurement of Stokes Q, U, and V) can be achieved by placing two such modulators in series if the relative angles of the beam-splitting grids with respect to the analyzer orientation are appropriately chosen. Such a device has several potential advantages over a spinning wave plate modulator for measuring astronomical polarization in the far infrared through millimeter: (i) The use of small, linear motions eliminates the need for cryogenic rotational bearings; (ii) the phase flexibility allows measurement of circular as well as linear polarization; and (iii) this architecture allows for both multiwavelength and broadband modulation. We also present initial laboratory results.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Engineering (miscellaneous)
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering