Abstract

The dual-rotating-retarder configuration is one of the most common forms of the Mueller matrix polarimeter. I perform an optimization of this polarimeter configuration by minimizing the condition number of the system data reduction matrix. I find the optimum retardance for the rotating retarders to be 127°. If exactly 16 intensity measurements are used for a Mueller matrix calculation, a complex relationship exists between the condition number and the sizes of the angular increments of the two retarders. If many intensity measurements are made, thus overspecifying the calculation, I find broad optimal ranges of angular increments of the two retarders that yield essentially equal performance. Experimental results are given.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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