Abstract

This paper demonstrates that numerous calculations involving polarization transformations can be condensed by employing suitable geometric algebra formalism. For example, to describe polarization mode dispersion and polarization-dependent loss, both the material birefringence and differential loss enter as bivectors and can be combined into a single symmetric quantity. Their frequency and distance evolution, as well as that of the Stokes vector through an optical system, can then each be expressed as a single compact expression, in contrast to the corresponding Mueller matrix formulations. The intrinsic advantage of the geometric algebra framework is further demonstrated by presenting a simplified derivation of generalized Stokes parameters that include the electric field phase. This procedure simultaneously establishes the tensor transformation properties of these parameters.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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