The obvious go to measurment here would be two-lasers-one-cavity to measure the residual between the two polarisaiton modes of one of the cavities. Is the experiment in a state where this could be done easily?
Not easily, but it is doable if we resurrect the south path only. I estimate ~1 month of work for that if things go fine.
If I recall correctly Tara had this set up with an optical circulator on the input side which Antonio and I switched to linear polarisasion with Faraday isolator. The mode splitting of the AlGaAs coatings would take care of only selecting one polarisation mode, but is it posisble that the latter measurments sampled a different polarisation to the original thermo-optic measurment? Just a thought.
With circularly polarized light, Tara could be addressing any of the two possible resonances, with only effect of suffering in modematching with the cavity. So it should be a 50/50 chance that they measured it in a different polarization. However, the nature of thermal photoelastic measurement is same in both polarizations. The photoelastic tensor for GaAs (cubic symmetry), in theroy, does not create birefringence, or afect different polarizations differently. The source of birefringence in these coatings is not known.