Journal of the European Optical Society - Rapid publications, Vol 2 (2007)

Experimental validation of the reverse polar decomposition of depolarizing Mueller matrices

M. Anastasiadou, S. Ben Hatit, R. Ossikovski, S. Guyot, A. De Martino


We experimentally assess the validity of the reverse polar decomposition (R. Ossikovski et al., Opt. Lett. 32, 689 (2007)), which describes any Mueller matrix as a product of a depolarizer, a diattenuator and a retarder with the diattenuator placed after the depolarizer and not before, as in the well-known Lu and Chipman’s forward decomposition. The raw data are Mueller images of a depolarizer (dilute milk at variable concentrations), followed by two tilted glass plates as a diattenuator and a mica retardation plate. While the reverse decomposition accurately reconstructs the component matrices in all cases, the usual forward decomposition provides reasonable values only for the trace of the depolarizer matrix, the other quantities being affected by gross errors. The potential interest of this decomposition for biological samples is briefly discussed.

© The Authors. All rights reserved. [DOI: 10.2971/jeos.2007.07018]

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