Abstract

The normal form of a depolarizing Mueller matrix constitutes an important tool for the phenomenological interpretation of experimental polarimetric data. Due to its structure as a serial combination of three Mueller matrices, namely a canonical depolarizing Mueller matrix sandwiched between two pure (nondepolarizing) Mueller matrices, it overcomes the necessity of making a priori choices on the order of the polarimetric components, as this occurs in other serial decompositions. Because Mueller polarimetry addresses more and more applications in a wide range of areas in science, engineering, medicine, etc., the normal form decomposition has an enormous potential for the analysis of experimentally determined Mueller matrices. However, its systematic use has been limited to some extent because of the lack of numerical procedure for the calculation of each polarimetric component, in particular in the case of Type II Mueller matrices. In this work, an efficient algorithm applicable to the decomposition of both Type II and Type I Mueller matrices is presented.

© 2020 Optical Society of America

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