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Optics: wave-plates and Faraday effect

What kind of wave-plates one needs to apply to rotate the plane of linearly polarized light 45 degrees clockwise? What is the physical difference between this type of polarization rotation and that one achieved with Faraday effect?

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1. You need a half-wave plate, and you must orient it properly. If linearly polarized light is incident on a half-wave plate with the polarization at a given angle with respect to the fast axis of the plate then the transmitted light will have nearly the same intensity but with its polarization rotated by twice that angle. So one would orient the fast axis 22.5 degrees CW with respect to the plane of polarization of the incoming light. The half-wave plate inverts the phase of the slow-axis component with respect to the ...

Solution Summary

Unlike the half-wave plate, the Faraday Effect produces light that is not so completely linearly polarized, but is somewhat elliptically polarized.