Abstract

A theoretical analysis of eigenpolarizations and eigenvalues pertaining to the Jones matrices of dichroic, birefringent, and degenerate polarization elements is presented. The analysis is carried out employing a general model of a polarization element. Expressions for the corresponding polarization elements are derived and analyzed. It is shown that, despite the presence of birefringence, a polarization element can, in a general case, demonstrate a totally dichroic behavior. Moreover, it is proved that birefringence necessarily accompanies dichroic elements with orthogonal eigenpolarizations. A transition between degenerate, dichroic, and birefringent eigenvalues is studied, and examples of synthesis of polarization elements are given.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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