The effects on image quality due to polarization changes of the illuminating beam after scattering by an object are studied. These effects include a decrease in signal-to-noise ratio (decrease in fringe visibility) of the hologram and, for an extended object, a loss of information of those segments of the object that have large curvature (edges, discontinuities, etc.). The autocorrelation function of the transmittance of a nonlinearly recorded hologram of a diffuse object is obtained. It is shown that the change of polarization of the illuminating beam by the object not only reduces the signal-to-noise ratio but also fortifies the distortion of the images due to the nonlinearity of the recording medium. This new distorting effect, which appears as a multiplicative factor, is dependent on the irradiance distribution of the object’s cross-polarized component. A simple way of decreasing the above-mentioned degradation effects is suggested.
© 1978 Optical Society of America
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