In the unfolding process a uniformly polarized optical vortex evolves into a complex polarization distribution within a birefringent crystal. In this paper we introduce the “unfolding region” to characterize this process. This is the real space region over which the polarization state travels half way around the Poincar´e sphere relative to that observed at the center of the beam. Ideally the region is a circle, but it can be distorted into an ellipse by a small tilt between the ordinary and extraordinary rays. We have applied the above analysis to an actual unfolding process observed with a birefringent interferometer.
Yoko Miyamoto and Sunil Vyas, "Characterization of the unfolding process of an optical vortex," Proc. SPIE 10120, Complex Light and Optical Forces XI, 1012003 (Presented at SPIE OPTO: January 31, 2017; Published: 16 March 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2251753.
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