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30 August 2017 Statistics of partially-polarized fields: beyond the Stokes vector and coherence matrix
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Abstract
Traditionally, the partially-polarized light is characterized by the four Stokes parameters. Equivalent description is also provided by correlation tensor of the optical field. These statistics specify only the second moments of the complex amplitudes of the narrow-band two-dimensional electric field of the optical wave. Electric field vector of the random quasi monochromatic wave is a nonstationary oscillating two-dimensional real random variable. We introduce a novel statistical description of these partially polarized waves: the Period-Averaged Probability Density Function (PA-PDF) of the field. PA-PDF contains more information on the polarization state of the field than the Stokes vector. In particular, in addition to the conventional distinction between the polarized and depolarized components of the field PA-PDF allows to separate the coherent and fluctuating components of the field. We present several model examples of the fields with identical Stokes vectors and very distinct shapes of PA-PDF. In the simplest case of the nonstationary, oscillating normal 2-D probability distribution of the real electrical field and stationary 4-D probability distribution of the complex amplitudes, the newly-introduced PA-PDF is determined by 13 parameters that include the first moments and covariance matrix of the quadrature components of the oscillating vector field.
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Mikhail Charnotskii "Statistics of partially-polarized fields: beyond the Stokes vector and coherence matrix", Proc. SPIE 10407, Polarization Science and Remote Sensing VIII, 104070Y (30 August 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2273090
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