Polarized light in an anisotropic medium versus spin in a magnetic field
V.S. Zapasskii a
G.G. Kozlov b
a Department of Physics, St. Petersburg State University, Petrodvorets, St. Petersburg, 198904, Russian Federation
b S I Vavilov State Optical Institute, Birzhevaya liniya 12, St. Petersburg, 199034, Russian Federation
The analogy between polarization optics effects and the dynamics of a spin in a magnetic field is analyzed based on the fact that the Bloch equation for a spin in a magnetic field is formally identical to the evolution equation for the quasi-spin vector of a light propagating in an optically anisotropic medium. Among the effects discussed within this framework are light polarization beats in a birefringent medium; optical activity suppression in the media with linear birefringence; suppression of linear birefringence in the media with spatially modulated gyration; ’adiabatic’ transformation of light polarization in media of smoothly varying anisotropy, and two- and three-pulse polarization echoes.