The evolution of a Stokes vector through depolarizing media is considered. A general form for the differential matrix is found that is appropriate in the presence of depolarization and it is parameterized in a manner that ensures that it yields, upon integration, a valid Mueller matrix for any choice of parameters. The form expands the more limited form for a nondepolarizing matrix given by Azzam [J. Opt. Soc. Am. 68, 1756 (1978)] and which was extended recently by others to include depolarization. A Mueller matrix decomposition is proposed that is based upon the new parameterization.
Original Manuscript: October 10, 2011
Revised Manuscript: January 25, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: January 28, 2012
Published: February 28, 2012
Thomas A. Germer, "Realizable differential matrices for depolarizing media," Opt. Lett. 37, 921-923 (2012)