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Proceedings Paper

A compact optical polarimeter for portable telescopes used for teaching astronomy
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Paper Abstract

Using off-the-shelf optical components a simple, compact optical polarimeter is designed for use with portable telescopes. The polarimeter is optimized for telescopes with an aperture of 10 inches and an f/10 focal ratio, which are typically used in introductory observational astronomy courses. The polarimeter can be used to measure bright standard stars that have published polarization values for the degree of polarization and position angle in the V band. Aperture photometry is used to measure the stellar fluxes on CCD images, which in turn is used to determine the Stokes parameters that are used to calculate the polarization state of a star. In using the polarimeter, students gain insight into how stellar polarization is accurately measured and they become familiar with how Stokes parameters are used in practice.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 October 2019
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 11207, Fourth International Conference on Applications of Optics and Photonics, 1120721 (3 October 2019);
Show Author Affiliations
Gregory A. Topasna, Virginia Military Institute (United States)
Daniela M. Topasna, Virginia Military Institute (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11207:
Fourth International Conference on Applications of Optics and Photonics
Manuel Filipe P. C. M. Martins Costa, Editor(s)

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