Polarization singularity democracy: WYSIWYG

Isaac Freund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The canonical point singularity of elliptically polarized light is a C point, an isolated point of circular polarization surrounded by a field of polarization ellipses. The defining singular property of a C point is that the surrounding ellipses rotate about the point. It is shown that this rotation is seen only for a particular line of sight (LOS) and, conversely, that there exists a unique LOS for every ellipse along which the ellipse is seen as a singularity. It is also shown that changes in LOS can turn singularities into stationary points and vice versa. The democratic behavior of polarization singularities and stationary points is a consequence of the fundamental "what you see is what you get" property of ellipse fields. Simple experiments are proposed for observing this unusual property of elliptically polarized light.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1715-1717
Number of pages3
JournalOptics Letters
Issue number15
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2004


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