Asian Journal of Physics Vol. 30 Nos 8 & 9 (2021) 1317-1328

Towards development of novel optical techniques for the mapping of polarization signal of solar corona

Athira B S1, Sounak Mukherjee2, Dibyendu Nandy1,2 and Nirmalya Ghosh1,2


The measurement and analysis of the magnetic field of solar corona provide quantitative information on the coronal structure heating and dynamics, thereby helping our understanding of space weather. Here, we present two measurement techniques for uncovering the polarization information of the solar corona (i) Liquid crystal variable retarder based Stokes polarimeter, (ii) Geometric phase polarimeter which gives the information on space varying polarization with just one interferometric intensity measurement. Although the two techniques are developed as a proof-of-concept in the laboratory for the solar coronal magnetic field measurement, these can be used for any polarization measurement system such as to uncover the complex structure of different biological samples, understand the three-dimensional characteristics of the chemical bonds, for characterizing nanomaterials, and so on. © Anita Publications. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Polarization, Geometric phase, Magnetic field measurement.

Peer Review Information
Method: Single- anonymous; Screened for Plagiarism? Yes
Buy this Article in Print © Anita Publications. All rights reserved


  1. Schrijver C J, Kauristie K, Aylward A D, Denardini C M, Gibson S E, Glover A, Gopalswamy N, Grande M, Hapgood M, Heynderickx D, Jakowski N, Understanding space weather to shield society: A global road map for 2015–2025 commissioned by COSPAR and ILWS, Adv Space Res, 55(2015)2745–2807.
  2. Lin H, Kuhn J R, Coulter R, Coronal magnetic field measurements, Astrophys J Lett, 613(2004)L177–L180.
  3. Judge P G, Low B C, Casini R, Spectral lines for polarization measurements of the coronal magnetic field. IV. Stokes signals in current-carrying fields, Astrophys J, 65(2006)1229–1237.
  4. Nandy D, Magnetic helicity, coronal heating and solar flaring activity: a review of the role of active region twist, Subsurface and Atmospheric Influences on Solar Activity, 383(2008)201–212.
  5. Cook G R, Mackay D H, Nandy D, Solar cycle variations of coronal null points: implications for the magnetic breakout model of coronal mass ejections, Astrophys J, 704(2009)1021–1035.
  6. Yeates A R, Attrill G D, Nandy D, Mackay D H, Martens P C, van Ballegooijen A A, Comparison of a global magnetic evolution model with observations of coronal mass ejections, Astrophys J, 709 (2010)1238–1248.
  7. Judge PG, Spectral lines for polarization measurements of the coronal magnetic field. I. Theoretical intensities, Astrophys J, 500 (1998)1009–1022.
  8. Casini R, Judge P G, Spectral lines for polarization measurements of the coronal magnetic field. II. Consistent treatment of the Stokes vector for magnetic-dipole transitions, Astrophys J, 522(1999)524–539.
  9. Gibson S E, Kucera T A, White S M, Dove J B, Fan Y, Forland B C, Rachmeler LA, Downs C, Reeves K K, FORWARD: A toolset for multiwavelength coronal magnetometry, Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences, 3(2016)1–21.
  10. Nandy D, Bhowmik P, Yeates A R, Panda S, Tarafder R, Dash S, The large-scale coronal structure of the 2017 August 21 great american eclipse: an assessment of solar surface flux transport model enabled predictions and observations, Astrophys J, 853(2018)72–78.
  11. Chipman R A, Handbook of Optics (CRC Press), 2003.
  12. Bickel W S, Bailey W M, Stokes vectors, Mueller matrices, and polarized scattered light, Am J Phys, 53(1985)468–478.
  13. Ghosh N, Vitkin A I, Tissue polarimetry: concepts, challenges, applications, and outlook, J Biomed Opt, 16(2011)
  14. Laude-Boulesteix B, De Martino A, Drévillon B, Schwartz L, Mueller polarimetric imaging system with liquid crystals, Appl Opt, 43(2004)2824–2832.
  15. De Martino A, Kim Y K, Garcia-Caurel E, Laude B, Drévillon B, Optimized Mueller polarimeter with liquid crystals, Opt Lett 28(2003)616–618.
  16. Compain E, Poirier S, Drevillon B, General and self-consistent method for the calibration of polarization modulators, polarimeters, and Mueller-matrix ellipsometers, Appl Opt, 38(1999)3490–3502.
  17. Twietmeyer K M, Chipman R A, Optimization of Mueller matrix polarimeters in the presence of error sources, Opt Express, 16(2008)11589–11603.
  18. Peinado A, Lizana A, Turpín A, Iemmi C, Kalkandjiev T K, Mompart J, Campos J, Optimization, tolerance analysis and implementation of a Stokes polarimeter based on the conical refraction phenomenon, Opt Express, 23(2015)5636–5652.
  19. Ghosh N, Wood M F, Vitkin I A, Mueller matrix decomposition for extraction of individual polarization parameters from complex turbid media exhibiting multiple scattering, optical activity, and linear birefringence, J Biomed Opt, 13(2008) 044036;
  20. Gupta S D, Ghosh N, Banerjee A. Wave optics: Basic concepts and contemporary trends, (CRC Press), 2015.
  21. Shitrit N, Yulevich I, Maguid E, Ozeri D, Veksler D, Kleiner V, Hasman E, Spin-optical metamaterial route to spin-controlled photonics, Science, 340(2013)724–726.
  22. Andrews D L, Babiker M, The angular momentum of light, (Cambridge University Press), 2012.
  23. Pancharatnam S, Generalized theory of interference and its applications, Proc Indian Acad Sci-Sec A, 44(1956)398–417.
  24. Berry M V, Quantal phase factors accompanying adiabatic changes, Proc Roy Soc London A. Math and Physical Sci, 392(1984)45–57.
  25. Yin X, Ye Z, Rho J, Wang Y, Zhang X, Photonic spin Hall effect at metasurfaces, Science, 339(2013)1405–1407.
  26. Bliokh K Y, Rodríguez-Fortuño F J, Nori F, Zayats A V, Spin–orbit interactions of light, Nature Photon, 9(2015)796-808.
  27. Pal M, Banerjee C, Chandel S, Bag A, Majumder S K, Ghosh N, Tunable Spin dependent beam shift by simultaneously tailoring geometric and dynamical phases of light in inhomogeneous anisotropic medium, Sci Reports, 6(2016)1–10.
  28. Berry M V, The adiabatic phase and Pancharatnam’s phase for polarized light, J Mod Opt, 34(1987)1401–1407.
  29. Athira B S, Pal M, Mukherjee S, Mishra J, Nandy D, Ghosh N, Single-shot measurement of the space-varying polarization state of light through interferometric quantification of the geometric phase, Phys Rev A, 101(2020)013836; doi.
  30. Kliger D S, Lewis J W, Randall CE. Elliptical Polarizers and Retarders in: Polarized light in optics and spectroscopy, (Academic Press), 1990.
  31. Michl J, Thulstrup E W, Spectroscopy with polarized light: solute alignment by photoselection in liquid crystals, polymers and membranes, (VCH publishers), 1986.