Demonstration of vacuum strain effects on a light-collection lens used in optical polarimetry

K. W. Trantham, K. D. Foreman, T. J. Gay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The precision by which an electron spin polarization measurement can be made using a noble-gas polarimeter depends directly on the accuracy of a light-polarization measurement. Since the electron-noble gas collisions occur in a vacuum chamber and the optical polarimeter is generally outside the chamber, this work examines the effect the vacuum window has on the perceived optical polarization. A model light source, lens system, and optical polarimeter are used that approximate the situation found in a typical atomic physics experiment. It was demonstrated that a pressure difference of 1 atm on a lens will alter the perceived polarization by as much as 0.05% with typical borosilicate (BK) lenses. This effect was demonstrated to scale with the thickness of the lens used and changes signs when the direction of the stress is reversed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2715-2724
Number of pages10
JournalApplied optics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Mar 20 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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