Abstract

Lyot depolarizers are optical devices made of birefringent materials used for producing unpolarized beams from totally polarized incident light. The depolarization is produced for polychromatic input beams due to the different phase introduced by the Lyot depolarizer for each wavelength. The effect of this device on other types of incident fields is investigated. In particular two cases are analyzed: (i) monochromatic and nonuniformly polarized incident beams and (ii) incident light synthesized by superposition of two monochromatic orthogonally polarized beams with different wavelengths. In the last case, it is theoretically and experimentally shown that the Lyot depolarizer increases the degree of polarization instead of depolarizes.

©2012 Optical Society of America

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