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Proceedings Paper

Conditions For The Physical Realisability Of Matrix Operators In Polarimetry
Author(s): Shane R. Cloude
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Paper Abstract

In this paper we derive the constraints imposed on an arbitrary 4x4 real matrix such that it correspond to a physically realisable Mueller matrix M. These constraints are important, in practice, when M is derived from experimental measurements. Under such circumstances the measured matrix may be filtered to yield two components, one of which is physically realisable plus a nonphysical remainder term. By comparing the relative magnitudes of these two, we obtain a quantitative measure of system fidelity. In the course of this development, we outline two new matrix descriptors of polarised scattering, the system covariance and coherency matrices. These 4x4 Hermitian operators are linearly related to X but yield better physical insight into the scattering phenomena causing depolarisation. We illustrate by reference to rough surface scattering under physical optics.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 January 1990
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 1166, Polarization Considerations for Optical Systems II, (25 January 1990); doi: 10.1117/12.962889
Show Author Affiliations
Shane R. Cloude, Dundee University (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1166:
Polarization Considerations for Optical Systems II
Russell A. Chipman, Editor(s)

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