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HIGH-EFFICIENCY "SUPERACHROMATIC" POLARIMETRY OPTICS FOR USE IN OPTICAL ASTRONOMICAL SPECTROGRAPHS
ROBERT W. GOODRICH
Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Vol. 103, No. 670 (December 1991), pp. 1314-1322
Published by: Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40679814
Page Count: 9
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A design for an optical spectropolarimeter consisting of a Pancharatnam half-wave plate and a modified Glan-Taylor polarizing beam splitter retrofitted to an existing astronomical spectrograph is described. The wave plate has a retardance of 180° ± 2° over the entire design wavelength range from 3200 Å to 1.1 μm. The calcite polarizing beam splitter has a beam separation of one beam diameter, and a low length-to-width ratio of 1.035, making efficient use of the limited space available in most spectrographs. Cassegrain CCD spectrographs on the Mount Locke 2.7-m and Mount Palomar 5-m telescopes have been retrofitted with spectropolarimeters of the type described. The combination of these "superachromatic" polarimeter parts with the high-efficiency CCD detectors now used in these and many other astronomical spectrographs should lead to a great expansion of spectropolarimetry in many branches of astronomical research.
Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific © 1991 The University of Chicago Press