We have investigated the spatial distribution of the polarization state of a terahertz electromagnetic wave focused by an off-axis parabolic mirror (OPM) in the focal plane. We employed polarization-resolved terahertz time-domain spectroscopy and found that a steep spatial variation in the polarization state appears slightly distant from the focus when a linearly polarized terahertz wave is focused. The spatial variation includes an abrupt change in the polarization state (states change between circular and linear polarizations) within a wavelength. The observed phenomena are confirmed by numerical calculations and are shown to be intrinsic to the reflection from the OPM.
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