One can scan the intensity $I$ of incoming linear polarized light by a linear polarizer, the outcome is the well known Malus' law.
$$I = I_0 \cos^2 \Theta$$
Deriving the dependence $I(\Theta)$ is rather easy, when going one step back to the electric field component and the relationship $I \sim |E|^2$.
Now, I was wondering, what happens if I scan circular or even elliptically polarized light by this method. The former should bring $I(\Theta) = const.$, while the ladder should bring a more complicated expression. Especially the ladder is of interest, because linear and circular polarizations are just a special case of generally elliptical polarization. Now, if one could find a dependence $I(\Theta,\phi)$, with $\phi$ being the phasedifference between two orthogonal polarized beams (for simplicity (surely depending on the reader), but I'm thinking of linear x- and y-polarized light), one could easily alter Malus' law for the more general case of elliptical polarization.
Finally I'm interested in $I(\Theta,\phi)$ with $\phi$ being the phasedifference between two orthogonal polarized beams and $\Theta$ being the scan angle. Can anyone help me to figure out the right derivation?
I hope my question is rather clearly asked. In case it needs improvement, don't hesitate to correct me! Thank you!!