Abstract

We have studied the depolarization of light from nitrobenzene in a Kerr cell. We observed that absorption in nitrobenzene is electric-field dependent. For modeling a nitrobenzene device we formulated a Mueller matrix for the Kerr-cell assembly, and by operating it on a Stokes vector of the input light we obtained a corresponding Stokes vector for the output light. The first parameter of the output Stokes vector corresponds to the intensity transmittance. It was simulated and compared with the measured intensity transmittance for several orientations of the polarizer–analyzer pair with respect to the applied voltages. The measurement of all unknown coefficients in a Mueller matrix consisting of the superposition of nondepolarizing and depolarizing components predicts the depolarization, scattering, and absorption in the nitrobenzene electro-optic device. The output intensities of the orthogonally polarized and cross-coupled depolarizing coefficients are in good agreement for a semi-isotropic medium. The formulated Mueller matrix agrees with the experimentally measured transmittance.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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