Polarization mode dispersion (PMD) and polarization dependent loss (PDL) for a pulse in optical fibers are calculated with a model of two concatenated fibers. Each of the two fibers has both elliptical birefringence and PDL. The results show that the PMD and PDL for a short pulse can be very different from those for a narrow-band pulse in optical fibers. Two anomalous results are reported: 1) the effective PDL for a pulse can be smaller than the PDL difference of the two fibers and 2) the effective PMD for a pulse can be either larger than the sum of the differential group delays (DGDs) of the two fibers or less than the DGD difference of the two fibers, depending on the input pulsewidth. The pulse distortions when the pulses are launched into the two principal states of polarization (PSPs) are discussed.


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