This report describes the inception, development and extensive use over 30 years of elliptical polarimeters at the University of Pennsylvania. The initial Mark I polarimeter design utilized oriented retarder plates and a calcite Foster-Clarke prism as the analyzer. The Mark I polarimeter was used on the Kitt Peak 0.9 m in 1969-70 to accomplish a survey of approximately 70 objects before the device was relocated to the 0.72 m reflector at the Flower and Cook Observatory. Successive generations of automation and improvements included the early-80's optical redesign to utilize a photoelastic modulated wave plate and an Ithaco lock-in amplifier-the photoelastic modulating polarimeter. The final design in 2000 concluded with a fully remote operable device. The legacy of the polarimetric programs includes studies of close binaries, pulsating hot stars, and luminous late-type variables.
Physics, Astronomy, and Materials Science
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Elliptical polarimetry, Flower and cook observatory, Polarimeter, Polarization
Koch, Robert H., George W. Wolf, Anthony B. Hull, Nicholas M. Elias, Bruce D. Holenstein, and Richard J. Mitchell. "The penn polarimeters." Journal of Astronomy and Space Sciences 29, no. 1 (2012): 69-77.
Journal of Astronomy and Space Sciences