Chapter 3 concluded with a discussion of the dispersive effects that arise in isotropic materials due to the microscopic nature of the ‘springs’ that make up the material. Another kind of dispersion arises when the wave functions that exhibit the transitions that give rise to the dielectric constant are not strictly symmetric. In this case, as will be seen in the coming paragraphs, the relation between the propagation constant and the optical frequency can be not only nonlinear but also multivalued. This multivaluedness can lead to very many interesting polarization effects, as we will presently see. Analysis of these effects will allow us to use some of the tools we developed in Chapter 2, as well as to come to a better understanding of how the polarization converting devices we discussed in that chapter work.
KeywordsOptic Axis Phase Velocity Anisotropic Medium Poynting Vector Physical Optic
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