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Proceedings Paper

General Lorentz transformation and its application to deriving and evaluating the Mueller matrices of polarization optics
Author(s): Charles S. Brown; Aakhut Em Bak
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Paper Abstract

We give a derivation of the explicit form of the general Mueller matrix of polarization optics for the case of arbitrary and uniform birefringence and dichroism. We first point out that the general Mueller matrix is essentially a Lorentz transformation. Then a set of complex Lorentz generator and a complex polarization vector is introduced. The complex generators are related to the usual Lorentz generators of special relativity, while the complex vector is related to the Stokes representation of the birefringence and dichroism vectors. Next, the explicit form of the general Lorentz transformation, and subsequently the general Mueller matrix for arbitrary and uniform berefringence and dichroism is derived. The general form is used to derive new Mueller matrices for three special cases. The special cases are (1) the Mueller matrix for a material with finite dichroism and weak birefringence, (2) the Mueller material with both finite birefringence and dichroism that are equal in magnitude and perpendicular in direction. Then, we derive an algorithm to determine the material parameters from the general Mueller matrix elements. Finally, we apply the algorithm to theoretical and experimental Mueller matrices.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 October 1999
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 3754, Polarization: Measurement, Analysis, and Remote Sensing II, (25 October 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.366361
Show Author Affiliations
Charles S. Brown, Lucent Technologies/Bell Labs. and Univ. of Cape Coast (Ghana) (United States)
Aakhut Em Bak, Morehouse College (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3754:
Polarization: Measurement, Analysis, and Remote Sensing II
Dennis H. Goldstein; David B. Chenault, Editor(s)

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