OPTI-586L: Polarization in Optical Design Laboratory

Course Description

Polarization is a fundamental component of electromagnetic waves. The goal of this course is to apply theoretical principles of polarization and practice overcoming common pitfalls in polarization engineering.

Learn why you should always use polarization optics in collimated light.

Focusing light through a waveplate creates separated wavefronts.

Gain experience understanding and interpreting polariscope images. This simple tool can be a first step to understanding the polarization properties of optical elements.

clear plastic tape dispenser viewed with a polariscope

Course topics range from polarization ray tracing to the complicated effects of thin film coatings. Understanding what is needed to create realistic polarization models improves optical design.