Comprehensive coverage of light polarization theory and its practical applications in today's cutting-edge technologies Besides being indispensable to modern investigations into the physical world, light polarization is a fundamental component of several revolutionary technological innovations in such diverse fields as telecommunications, pollution control, and medical diagnostics. Yet there is a conspicuous dearth of texts and professional references providing researchers and engineers with a unified, comprehensive treatment of basic light polarization theory and its applications to current microwave and optical technology. This book fills that gap in the literature. Fundamentals of Polarized Light serves equally well as an advanced text for physics and electrical engineering students and a professional reference for practicing engineers and researchers. It combines a rational, integrated presentation of the theory behind modern applications of light polarization with several demonstrations of current applications. A key feature of the book is that the analysis of polarized light and its interaction with linear optical media is presented from a statistical point of view.
Topics covered include: Historical foundations of polarized light Classical radiation field theory and Maxwell's equations Statistical theory of partial polarization, including a discussion of the thermodynamics of radiation fields Propagation of polarized light through linear optical systems Polarization transfer matrix methods for describing changes in polarization states that occur during reflection and refraction Propagation of partially polarized waves in disordered systems and anisotropic media Polarizers, compensators, and other optical components Measurements of the Jones and Mueller polarization matrices