optical device that modifies a beam of optical radiation to produce a beam with a unique state of polarization irrespective of the state of polarization of the incident radiation

NOTE 1 A polarizer is called a linear, circular or elliptical polarizer depending on the state of polarization produced.

NOTE 2 The unqualified term "polarizer" is frequently used to describe a linear polarizer.

NOTE 3 A distinction is made between a perfect polarizer that transmits only a unique state of polarization and an imperfect polarizer that, in addition to transmitting a unique state of polarization, does not completely exclude all other polarization states.

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