Sir George Gabriel Stokes (1819 - 1903) was led to his formulation of Stokes Polarization Parameters in order to provide a suitable mathematical description of the Fresnal-Arago laws.
Fresnel–Arago Laws (1811) are based on experiments carried out with an unpolarized light source. The original laws were stated as:
- Two rays of light polarized in the same plane interfere in the same manner as ordinary light
- Two rays at right angles do not interfere
- Two rays polarized at right angles from ordinary light and brought into the same plane of polarization do not interfere in the ordinary sense
- Two rays polarized at right angles interfere when brought into into the same plane of polarization
They are stated clearer below.
- Two orthogonal, coherent linearly polarized waves cannot interfere.
- Two parallel coherent linearly polarized waves will interfere in the same way as natural light.
- The two constituent orthogonal linearly polarized states of natural light cannot interfere to form a readily observable interference pattern, even if rotated into alignment (because they are incoherent).
ARAGO, Dominque Francois Jean, 1786-1853, French physicist
FRESNEL, Augustin Jean, 1788-1827, French physicist