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J Opt Soc Am A Opt Image Sci Vis. 2009 May;26(5):1109-18.

Analysis of depolarizing Mueller matrices through a symmetric decomposition.

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  • 1LPICM, Ecole Polytechnique, CNRS, 91128 Palaiseau, France.


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.

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