Interaction between Faraday rotation and Cotton-Mouton effects in polarimetry modeling for NSTX

Zhang, J.; Crocker, N. A.; Carter, T. A.; Kubota, S.; Peebles, W. A.
October 2010
Review of Scientific Instruments;Oct2010, Vol. 81 Issue 10, p10D519
Academic Journal
The evolution of electromagnetic wave polarization is modeled for propagation in the major radial direction in the National Spherical Torus Experiment with retroreflection from the center stack of the vacuum vessel. This modeling illustrates that the Cotton-Mouton effect-elliptization due to the magnetic field perpendicular to the propagation direction-is shown to be strongly weighted to the high-field region of the plasma. An interaction between the Faraday rotation and Cotton-Mouton effects is also clearly identified. Elliptization occurs when the wave polarization direction is neither parallel nor perpendicular to the local transverse magnetic field. Since Faraday rotation modifies the polarization direction during propagation, it must also affect the resultant elliptization. The Cotton-Mouton effect also intrinsically results in rotation of the polarization direction, but this effect is less significant in the plasma conditions modeled. The interaction increases at longer wavelength and complicates interpretation of polarimetry measurements.


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