Abstract

While any 2D mixed state of polarization of light can be represented by a combination of a pure state and a fully random state, any Mueller matrix can be represented by a convex combination of a pure component and three additional components whose randomness is scaled in a proper and objective way. Such characteristic decomposition constitutes the appropriate framework for the characterization of the polarimetric randomness of the system represented by a given Mueller matrix and provides criteria for the optimal filtering of noise in experimental polarimetry.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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