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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 44, Iss. 13 — May. 1, 2005
  • pp: 2490–2495

Depolarization index and the average degree of polarization

Russell A. Chipman  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 44, Issue 13, pp. 2490-2495 (2005)

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Two single number metrics for depolarization of samples are contrasted: (1) the average degree of polarization of the exiting light averaged over the Poincaré sphere and (2) the depolarization index of Gill Berbenau [ Opt. Acta 32, 259– 261 ( 1985); Opt. Acta 33, 185– 189 ( 1986)]. The depolarization index is a geometric measure that varies from 0 for the ideal depolarizer to 1 for nondepolarizing Mueller matrices. The average degree of polarization also varies from 0 to 1 and characterizes the typical level of depolarization. Although the depolarization index is very often close to the average degree of polarization, these two metrics can differ by more than 0.5 for certain Mueller matrices.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(060.0060) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber optics and optical communications
(060.2300) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber measurements
(120.2130) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Ellipsometry and polarimetry
(120.5410) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Polarimetry

Original Manuscript: June 25, 2004
Revised Manuscript: November 29, 2004
Manuscript Accepted: November 29, 2004
Published: May 1, 2005

Russell A. Chipman, "Depolarization index and the average degree of polarization," Appl. Opt. 44, 2490-2495 (2005)

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