Abstract

Starting with the analogy between the Stokes quadrivector of optical polarization states and the Minkovskian quadrivector of relativistic events, the equivalent in polarization theory of the vectorial form of Lorentz boost equations is established. From these equations, the composition law of Poincaré gyrovectors and the gain equation in the interaction of dichroic devices with partially polarized light are deduced. It is shown that the equation of the gain (general Malus’ law) is, up to a (slight but essential) generalization, the analog in polarization theory of the time equation of Lorentz boost. This generalization can be extended to other fields and problems of physics where the Lorentzian character of the underlying mathematics was recognized.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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