It is demonstrated that the occurence of backscattered polarization patterns relates to the conservation of angular momentum of light. Using the geometrical phase formalism in the spin space, we develop a model where the helicity-maintaining and the helicity-flipping multiple-scattering processes can be accounted for. The model explains practically all the symmetries present in the spatially resolved Mueller matrices.
© 2008 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: June 19, 2007
Revised Manuscript: October 16, 2007
Manuscript Accepted: November 14, 2007
Published: January 28, 2008
Chaim Schwartz and Aristide Dogariu, "Backscattered polarization patterns determined by conservation of angular momentum," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 25, 431-436 (2008)