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Opt Lett. 2006 Mar 15;31(6):817-9.

Maximum-likelihood estimation of Mueller matrices.

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  • 1Huygens Laboratory, Leiden University, P.O. Box 9504, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands.


We show that the method of maximum-likelihood estimation, recently introduced in the context of quantum process tomography, can be applied to the determination of Mueller matrices characterizing the polarization properties of classical optical systems. Contrary to linear reconstruction algorithms, the proposed method yields physically acceptable Mueller matrices even in the presence of uncontrolled experimental errors. We illustrate our method with the case of an unphysical measured Mueller matrix taken from the literature.

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