Optical EngineeringPolarization errors associated with birefringent waveplates
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Although zero-order quartz waveplates are widely used in instrumentation that needs good temperature and field-of-view characteristics, the residual errors associated with these devices can be very important in high-resolution polarimetry measurements. How the field-of-view characteristics are affected by retardation errors and the misalignment of optic axes in a double-crystal waveplate is discussed. The retardation measurements made on zero-order quartz and single-order "achromatic" waveplates and how the misalignment errors affect those measurements are discussed.