Optical EngineeringMueller matrix scatter polarimetry of a diamond-turned mirror
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A novel technique for measuring the polarization light scattering function of surfaces using a Mueller matrix imaging scatter polarimeter is presented. This technique measures the near-specular scatter of reflective surfaces as Mueller matrix images, enabling the diattenuation, retardance, and depolarization of the scattered light to be determined. An example of measurements of a diamond-turned aluminum mirror with an rms roughness of 11.4 nm is presented and interpreted. The most surprising result in our data was that this scattering process created partially elliptical polarized light from unpolarized incident light, where we had expected essentially partially linearly polarized light.