Simple self-calibrating polarimeter for measuring the Stokes parameters of light

Vitaly Wirthl*, Cristian D. Panda, Paul W. Hess, Gerald Gabrielse

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


A simple, self-calibrating, rotating-waveplate polarimeter is largely insensitive to light intensity fluctuations and is shown to be useful for determining the Stokes parameters of light. This study shows how to minimize the in situ self-calibration time, the measurement time, and the measurement uncertainty. The suggested methods are applied to measurements of spatial variations in the linear and circular polarizations of laser light passing through glass plates with a laser intensity dependent birefringence. These are crucial measurements for the ACME electron electric dipole measurements, requiring accuracies in circular and linear polarization fraction of about 0.1% and 0.4%, with laser intensities up to 100mW/mm2 incident into the polarimeter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2949-2969
Number of pages21
JournalOSA Continuum
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 15 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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