This project is about investigating electro-optic modulators and therefore I will focus on three main categories, theory, the device itself and its applications.
Theory: I will look into the mathematics and the physics involved in the three different kinds of modulation, phase, amplitude and polarization. The equations involved will be studied from several different perspectives. I may include hand worked solutions as well as simulations or animations from Mathematica. The animations could involve light waves entering and exiting the EOM, or before and after animations of what the electro magnetic wave looks like before and after modulation. Two equations I found that will be interesting to investigate are one relating electric field strength to induced index of refraction:
where is the index of refraction with no present electric field, r and R are constants that are dependent on the crystal. Another equation allows the EoM to function as a half wave plate once a specific voltage is applied.
This equation is the key to modulating polarization of the laser beam.
Actual Device: Here I will investigate the electro-optic modulator itself. I will talk about what the device consists of, possibly making a picture with labels of the different components of the inside of one of these devices and go into the physics of the crystal itself. Here is where I will go into some detail about the electro-optic effect and piezoelectricity. Examples of devices and their properties will be given, most likely from companies that manufacture them for research purposes. I will also talk about the physical mechanism behind the piezo-electric effect within the crystal. The device that produces the effect is some kind of very high frequency voltage generator.
Applications: In this section I will look into a few applications of electro-optic modulators. I want to find an application for each kind of modulation. I will discuss why an experimentalist would be interested in doing the different kinds of modulations and why it is useful. I may be able to find some recent data from a published paper that used one of these devices.