Stokes Vector
The Definition of Stokes Vector
We introduced Stokes parameters in this article. Please click on the link to learn more. As shown in it, Stokes parameters are defined as:
We can arrange the four Stokes parameters into a column matrix as:
Mathematically, it is not a vector, but through custom it is called the Stokes vector.
From the Stokes parameters definition (12), (13), (14), (15) above, the Stokes vector for elliptically polarized light is written as:
(2) is also called the Stokes vector for a plane wave.
Stokes Vectors for Linearly and Circularly Polarized Light
Just how we found the Stokes parameters in this article, we can find the Stokes vectors for linearly and circularly polarized light.
1. Linear Horizontally Polarized Light (LHP)
In this case, E_{0y} = 0, from (2) we can get the Stokes vector as:
2. Linear Vertically Polarized Light (LVP)
In this case, E_{0x} = 0, from (2) we can get the Stokes vector as:
3. Linear +45° Polarized Light (L +45)
In this case, we have
- E_{0x} = E_{0y} = E_{0}
- δ = δ_{y} - δ_{x} = 0
The Stokes vector is:
4. Linear -45° Polarized Light (L -45)
In this case, we have
- E_{0x} = E_{0y} = E_{0}
- δ = δ_{y} - δ_{x} = 180°
The Stokes vector is:
5. Right Circularly Polarized Light (RCP)
In this case, we have
- E_{0x} = E_{0y} = E_{0}
- δ = δ_{y} - δ_{x} = 90°
And the Stokes vector is:
6. Left Circularly Polarized Light (LCP)
In this case, we have
- E_{0x} = E_{0y} = E_{0}
- δ = δ_{y} - δ_{x} = - 90°
The Stokes vector is: