What is Polarization Extinction Ratio of a Laser Beam?

Lasers 
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- GoPhotonics

Jul 18, 2022

The polarization extinction ratio is the ratio between the optical powers of the perpendicular polarizations in a light beam. 

A laser beam is a transverse beam with the electric and magnetic fields oscillating perpendicular to the direction of propagation. Most of the laser beams are polarized, i.e. the direction of the electric field vibration is well defined.

So, in lasers, the polarization extinction ratio is the ratio of the optical powers of the transverse electric and transverse magnetic fields in the beam. It is given by,

Here P2 and P1 are the optical powers corresponding to the transverse electric and transverse magnetic fields in a laser beam.

The PER is expressed either in decibels (dB), ratios, or percentages. The value of PER of a laser beam is usually 100:1.

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