Decomposition and interpretation of Mueller
LPICM, Ecole Polytechnique, CNRS, 91128, Palaiseau, France
Published online: 02 June 2010
The various decompositions of depolarizing Mueller matrices into products of
basic optical devices, i.e. retarders, diattenuators and depolarizers, are
critically revisited. Both “classic” as well as recently proposed factorizations
are overviewed. The “depolarization aspect” is given a special attention.
Experimental matrices are factorized and physically interpreted using the
different decompositions. The problems of physical realizability and matrix
filtering are treated in connection with the sum decomposition of a depolarizing
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