The evolution of the Stokes parameters in optically anisotropic media is characterized by a set of coupled nonlinear first-order differential equations. The incident quasi-monochromatic plane-wave field is assumed to be statistically stationary and of arbitrary state of polarization. The optical medium is assumed to be linear, passive, and characterized by a differential Mueller matrix. It is shown that the set of these equations provides an efficient tool for the analysis of the propagation of partially polarized light in anisotropic media. As an example, we analyze the evolution of a beam of light propagating in a cholesteric liquid crystal. We also investigate how an additive temporal randomness on the differential Mueller matrix can modify the evolution of Stokes parameters in this medium.
© 1995 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: January 3, 1995
Published: June 1, 1995
Christian Brosseau, "Evolution of the Stokes parameters in optically anisotropic media," Opt. Lett. 20, 1221-1223 (1995)