The quaternion formalism has been used to derive new systems of equations that describe transformation of the polarization of light in inhomogeneous birefringent media. In quaternion algebra the problem of parametric representation of the unitary transformation matrix reduces to the problem of formulation of the quaternion in trigonometric form. It is shown that this can be done in 30 different ways and that to each trigonometric form corresponds its own system of transformation equations. The six simplest systems of transformation equations have been derived.
© 2001 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: November 6, 2000
Revised Manuscript: February 21, 2001
Manuscript Accepted: February 21, 2001
Published: September 1, 2001
Leo Ainola and Hillar Aben, "Transformation equations in polarization optics of inhomogeneous birefringent media," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 18, 2164-2170 (2001)