We show that the method of maximum-likelihood estimation, recently introduced in the context of quantum process tomography, can be applied to the determination of Mueller matrices characterizing the polarization properties of classical optical systems. Contrary to linear reconstruction algorithms, the proposed method yields physically acceptable Mueller matrices even in the presence of uncontrolled experimental errors. We illustrate our method with the case of an unphysical measured Mueller matrix taken from the literature.
© 2006 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: November 3, 2005
Revised Manuscript: November 7, 2005
Manuscript Accepted: November 24, 2005
A. Aiello, G. Puentes, D. Voigt, and J. P. Woerdman, "Maximum-likelihood estimation of Mueller matrices," Opt. Lett. 31, 817-819 (2006)