Evolution of polarization in an inhomogeneous isotropic medium
- Cite this article as:
- Petrov, N.I. J. Exp. Theor. Phys. (1997) 85: 1085. doi:10.1134/1.558380
The depolarization and rotation of the polarization plane of radiation propagating in a two-dimensional graded-index medium is investigated on the basis of the quantum-mechanical method of coherent states. It is shown that the degree of polarization of both linearly and circularly polarized radiation decreases with increasing distance as a result of interaction between the polarization (spin) and the path (orbital angular momentum) of the beam. The wave nature of the depolarization is emphasized. The depolarization decreases as the radiation wavelength decreases. It is found that the degree of polarization exhibits oscillations of pure diffraction origin during the propagation of light in a single-mode optical fiber. It is shown that the rotation of the polarization plane is nonuniform in character and depends on the offset and the tilt angle of the incident-beam axis relative to the fiber axis. The Berry phase is found to undergo oscillations of a wave nature during the propagation of radiation in an inhomogeneous medium. It is shown that the spread in the angle of rotation of the polarization plane increases with distance and can be determined from measurements of the degree of polarization of the radiation.