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Weak value amplified optical activity measurements




We present a new form of optical activity measurement based on a modified weak value amplification scheme. It has recently been shown experimentally that the left- and right-circular polarization components refract with slightly different angles of refraction at a chiral interface causing a linearly polarized light beam to split into two. By introducing a polarization modulation that does not give rise to a change in the optical rotation it is possible to differentiate between the two circular polarization components even after post-selection with a linear polarizer. We show that such a modified weak value amplification measurement permits the sign of the splitting and thus the handedness of the optically active medium to be determined. Angular beam separations of Δθ ∼ 1 nanoradian, which corresponds to a circular birefringence of Δn ∼ 1 × 10−9, could be measured with a relative error of less than 1%.

Author(s): Pfeifer, Marcel and Fischer, Peer
Journal: Opt. Express
Volume: 19
Number (issue): 17
Pages: 16508--16517
Year: 2011
Publisher: OSA

Department(s): Micro, Nano, and Molecular Systems
Bibtex Type: Article (article)

DOI: 10.1364/OE.19.016508
URL: http://www.opticsexpress.org/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-19-17-16508


  title = {Weak value amplified optical activity measurements},
  author = {Pfeifer, Marcel and Fischer, Peer},
  journal = {Opt. Express},
  volume = {19},
  number = {17},
  pages = {16508--16517},
  publisher = {OSA},
  year = {2011},
  url = {http://www.opticsexpress.org/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-19-17-16508}