A product decomposition of a nondepolarizing Mueller matrix consisting of the sequence of three factors — a first linear retarder, a horizontal or vertical “retarding diattenuator,” and a second linear retarder — is proposed. Each matrix factor can be readily identified with one or two basic polarization devices such as partial polarizers and retardation waveplates. The decomposition allows for a straightforward interpretation and parameterization of an experimentally determined Mueller matrix in terms of an arrangement of polarization devices and their characteristic parameters: diattenuations, retardances, and axis azimuths. Its application is illustrated on an experimentally determined Mueller matrix.
© 2008 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: March 26, 2007
Revised Manuscript: September 19, 2007
Manuscript Accepted: December 16, 2007
Published: January 30, 2008
Razvigor Ossikovski, "Interpretation of nondepolarizing Mueller matrices based on singular-value decomposition," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 25, 473-482 (2008)