Dove prism

Dove prism
A Dove prism

A Dove prism is a type of reflective prism which is used to invert an image. Dove prisms are shaped from a truncated right-angle prism. A beam of light entering one of the sloped faces of the prism undergoes total internal reflection from the inside of the longest (bottom) face and emerges from the opposite sloped face. Images passing through the prism are flipped, and because only one reflection takes place, the image is inverted but not laterally transposed.

Dove prisms have an interesting property that when they are rotated along their longitudinal axis, the transmitted image rotates at twice the rate of the prism. This property means they can rotate a beam of light by an arbitrary angle, making them useful in beam rotators, which have applications in fields such as interferometry, astronomy, and pattern recognition.

Lesso and Padgett (1999) and Moreno et al. (2003, 2004) found that there is a change in the state of polarization of a beam of light on passing through a rotated dove prism. The polarization-transforming properties of dove prisms are of particular interest because they can influence the signal measurement of the scientific instrument.

The Dove prism is named for its inventor, Heinrich Wilhelm Dove.


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  • dove prism — ˈdōvə noun Usage: usually capitalized D Etymology: probably after Heinrich W. Dove died 1879 German physicist : a prism that reverts an image but does not produce deviation or displacement of the beam, the rotation of the prism about the axis of… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Dove prism — Optics. a prism that inverts a beam of light, often used in a telescope to produce an erect image. Also called erecting prism, reversing prism, rotating prism. [named after Heinrich W. Dove (1803 79), German physicist] * * * …   Universalium

  • Prism (optics) — For other uses, see Prism (disambiguation). A plastic prism In optics, a prism is a transparent optical element with flat, polished surfaces that refract light. The exact angles between the surfaces depend on the application. The traditional… …   Wikipedia

  • erecting prism — noun a right angled optical prism used to turn an inverted image upright • Hypernyms: ↑prism, ↑optical prism * * * Optics. See Dove prism. [1870 75] …   Useful english dictionary

  • Prisma de Dove — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Un prisma de Dove es un tipo de prisma óptico reflectivo empleado para invertir una imagen. Su nombre se debe a su inventor, Heinrich Wilhelm Dove. Consiste en un prisma triangular en ángulo recto truncado. La luz al …   Wikipedia Español

  • Delta prism — A delta prism is a compact folded version of the traditional Dove prism. It is used for image rotation and derotation. Only the base is silvered, and the prism is made of high index glass. Categories: PrismsOptics stubs …   Wikipedia

  • reversing prism — noun : a right angled prism that reverses in one coordinate the images of objects viewed through it by total reflection compare porro prism * * * Optics. See Dove prism …   Useful english dictionary

  • erecting prism — Optics. See Dove prism. [1870 75] * * * …   Universalium

  • reversing prism — Optics. See Dove prism. * * * …   Universalium

  • rotating prism — Optics. See Dove prism. * * * …   Universalium

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