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Analysis of depolarizing Mueller matrices through a symmetric decomposition

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Abstract

A product decomposition of a depolarizing Mueller matrix consisting in the sequence of five factors—a diagonal depolarizer stacked between two retarder and diattenuator pairs—is proposed. This novel “symmetric” decomposition allows for a straightforward interpretation and parameterization of an experimentally determined Mueller matrix in terms of an arrangement of polarization devices and their characteristic parameters: diattenuations, retardances, and axis azimuths. Its application is illustrated on experimentally determined Mueller matrices.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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