We describe the evolution of a paraxial electromagnetic wave characterizing by a non-uniform polarization distribution with singularities and propagating in a weakly anisotropic medium. Our approach is based on the Stokes vector evolution equation applied to a non-uniform initial polarization field. In the case of a homogeneous medium, this equation is integrated analytically. This yields a 3-dimensional distribution of the polarization parameters containing singularities, i.e. C-lines of circular polarization and L-surfaces of linear polarization. The general theory is applied to specific examples of the unfolding of a vectorial vortex in birefringent and dichroic media.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics