Category Archives: Uncategorized

A paper describing our new MM ellipsometer

This ellipsometer was build in our Lab during 2019 and 2020 in joint work with visiting student Subiao Bian (Huaqiao University, China). Has several features: compensation using Fresnel Rhombs and discrete angle positioning that makes it an interesting device. The manuscript has been selected for an Editor’s Pick in Applied Optics.

Article Cover

Phase and polarization: from Fresnel-Arago interference Laws to metasurfaces

I am sharing here the slides of a presentation I did for the course Séminaires en sciences physiques, from Université de Moncton, in Quebec, Canada.

Phase and polarization are the two main actors of this presentation. The ‘phase’ describes the cyclic change of electric and magnetic fields during one period of the wave, while the ‘polarization’ describes the shape and orientation of the path traced by the electric field during one period. This presentation will look back into two historical experiments that made revolutionary steps for understanding the interference of polarized beams of light, but that are often omitted in textbooks of current use. The first experiment is from the early XIXth century and served Fresnel and Arago to define their laws of interference. The second experiment is from mid XXth century when S. Pancharatnam pioneered the unintuitive concept of geometric phase to explain the results of his apparently simple interference experiments in crystals. Finally, we will study the ever-lasting influence of these experiments in modern research, especially in the novel designed metasurfaces for photonics applications.

Henri Poincaré Webinar Series on Optical Polarization and Related Phenomena

I got involved in the committe of this new webinar series that has been promoted by Thomas Germer.

This series of webinars will bring together an international audience interested in exploring topics associated with optical polarization and related phenomena. Monthly webinars will be presented by leaders in the field, and ample time will be provided for live discussion of the topic. Initiated during the COVID-19 pandemic, the series will attempt to replicate as much as possible the dynamics of in-person conferences.

More information is available and you can join there the mailing list.


The scheduled initial speakers are:

•            September 29, 2020 – 1500 UTC – Miguel Alonzo (Institut Fresnel)

•            October 27, 2020 – 1300 UTC – Federico Capasso (Harvard University)

•            November 24, 2020 – 1300 UTC – Frans Snik (Universiteit Leiden)

•            December 29, 2020 – open

•            January 26, 2020 – 1300 UTC – Bart Kahr (New York University)

Henry Poincaré did many things in Polarization Optics but AFAIK he never draw his famous Sphere.

2020 OSA Outstanding Reviewer Recognition

I have mixed feeling about journal reviewing. I generally like it, but it certainly takes a lot of time and it is not always the case that you feel that this time is truly profitable. So I think it is good that at least journals make some sort of recogniztion to reviewers. This year I have received from OSA the Outstanding Reviewer Recognition. The OSA Outstanding Reviewer recognition is given annually to commend the top reviewers for their outstanding peer review efforts over the past year.

The dramatic event in the life of Paul Soleillet

In my research for more bibliographic information about Paul Soleillet I have found some additional information about the “drame familial” (family drama) mentioned by Jean Claude Pecker in his bibliography.

This happened in December 1931 when P. Soleillet was 29 years old.

Jean Claude-Pecker, told me he had the opportunity to meet Soleillet (“homme charmant et discret” according to his words) when Soleillet was working with Daniel Chalonge. However he was unable to send me a picture of him (Jean Claude-Pecker is 96 years old) . My search has been completely unsuccessful and, apparently, there are no traces of him at any of the institutions he worked. He remains as a misterious man.

Completing an experimental nondepolarizing Mueller matrix whose column or row is missing [code provided]

During the last months I have been working with Razvigor Ossikovski in a method to complete an experimental Mueller matrix with a row or column missing into a full Mueller matrix in situations where is no depolarization. Thus this method converts a 12-element partial Mueller matrix into a 16-element Mueller matrix. We are talking about these type of incomplete matrices, which are rather common in many ellipsometers/polarimeters:

The code we propose has many advantages over other approaches we have tested because it is algebraic (no fitting involved), numerically very robust and very fast. The details of the method are given in the following two papers (specially in the first one):

In this post we include a simple Matlab script that applies our method to a single 12-element partial Mueller matrix. Feel free to use this script adapting it to your needs. But please cite it!

The Fresnel Triprism and the circular polarization of light

Last year I talked many times about the Fresnel triprism in this website. Recently our research work about this composite prism was published in Optics Express where we make an analogy with the famous Stern-Gerlach experiment.

Almost at the same time, we have published a more divulgative report about the history of the Fresnel Triprism in a special issue of the journal Photoniques from the French Optical Society I hope it is an interesting reading for you.