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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 and Berbenau [Opt. Acta 32, 259-261 (1985); 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

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

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  1. J. J. Gil and E. Bernabeu, "A depolarization criterion in Mueller matrices," Opt. Acta 32, 259-261 (1985).
  2. J. J. Gil and E. Bernabeu, "Depolarization and polarization indices of an optical system," Opt. Acta 33, 185-189 (1986).
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  9. R. Barakat, "Conditions for the physical realizability of polarization matrices characterizing passive systems," J. Mod. Opt. 34, 1535-1544 (1987).
  10. S. R. Cloude, "Conditions for the physical realisability of matrix operators in polarimetry," in Polarization Considerations for Optical Systems II, R.A.Chipman, ed., Proc. SPIE 1166, 177-185 (1989).
  11. A. B. Kostinski, C. R. Clark, and J. M. Kwiatkowski, "Some necessary conditions on Mueller matrices," in Polarization Analysis and Measurement, D.Goldstein and R.A.Chipman, eds., Proc. SPIE 1746, 213-220 (1992).
  12. B. DeBoo, J. Sasian, and R. Chipman, "Degree of polarization surfaces and maps for analysis of depolarization," Opt. Express 12, 4941-4958 (2004), http://www.opticsexpress.org.

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