A STUDY OF CONICAL REFRACTION.
ROME AIR DEVELOPMENT CENTER GRIFFISS AFB NY
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The purpose of this study was to experimentally determine the feasibility and utility of conical refraction phenomenon for laser beam steering for laser techniques. A review of light propagation in a biaxial crystal is presented. The theoretical equation of the cone of internal conical refraction is derived. The theoretical discussion was based on Fresnels laws of refraction. Experiments generally agree with the gross aspects of the theory. Modifications of the theory were necessary to account for the intensity and polarization distribution of both polarized and unpolarized light. The experiments show that the uniqueness of a one to one correspondence between an incident linear polarized ray and ray path and polarization within the crystal does not prevail. Analysis of the intensity distribution and polarization distribution based on the experimental evidence is presented. The details of conical refraction such as the effects of source size and distance of source to the crystal are studied experimentally and are shown to agree with the modified theory. The formation of conical refraction near an optic axis is explored. An explanation of the results is given, based on geometrical properties of the wave surface. The question of the two concentric rings of light which are observed in conical refraction are studied experimentally and an explanation based on the focal properties of the wave surface is given.
- Lasers and Masers