Abstract

This paper constitutes an application of the polarization optics in the problem of quantum measurement. The non-Hermitian operators of the nonorthogonal multilayer optical polarizers represent observables in the sense of the generalized quantum theory of measurement. The intimate spectral structure of these polarizers can be disclosed in the frame of skew-angular vector bases and biorthonormal vector systems. We show that these polarizers correspond to skew projectors; their operators are “generated” by skew projectors in the sense of the spectral theorem of linear operators theory. Thus the common feature of all the polarizers (Hermitian and non-Hermitian) is that their “nuclei” are (orthogonal or skew) projectors—the generating projectors.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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