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Appl Opt. 2001 Jan 1;40(1):34-44.

Real-time measurement of the polarization transfer function.


We present a simple method for measuring the Mueller matrix associated with a scattering medium. Without involving moving parts, four input states of polarization are generated sequentially, and for each of them all four Stokes vector parameters are simultaneously measured for the complete determination of the Mueller matrix. Two liquid-crystal variable retarders are used for controlling the input state of polarization, whereas the measurement of the state of polarization involves phase modulation with a single-pass photoelastic modulator, and Fourier analysis in two polarization channels. The setup is controlled by a computer, allowing for real-time measurement of the Mueller matrix. The method is tested on standard elements such as polarizers and quarter-wave plates, as well as on inhomogeneous particulate systems.

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