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Proceedings Paper

Lorentz transformations on Stokes vectors
Author(s): F. U. Muhammad; Charles S. Brown
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Paper Abstract

The connection between the transformations of the Lorentz group and the Stokes parameter description of polarization phenomena is explored and elucidated. We begin by examining a monochromatic plane electromagnetic wave propagating through a dielectric medium. Using a representation of the Pauli spin matrices, expressions for the Stokes parameters (which are measurable quantities) are constructed from the electric field description of a completely polarized propagating wave. Next, the effect of a uniform birefringence on polarization phenomena is explored by casting the field description in the Stokes-Mueller matrix form. Also, the effect of a uniform dichroism on diattenuation phenomena is similarly explored. Finally, the connection between the Stokes parameter description and Lorentz transformations is elucidated by showing the Mueller matrices associated with birefringence and dichroism are, respectively, the rotations and boosts of the Lorentz group.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 December 1992
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 1746, Polarization Analysis and Measurement, (11 December 1992); doi: 10.1117/12.138788
Show Author Affiliations
F. U. Muhammad, Morehouse College (United States)
Charles S. Brown, AT&T Bell Labs. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1746:
Polarization Analysis and Measurement
Dennis H. Goldstein; Russell A. Chipman, Editor(s)

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