The interaction of arbitrary three-dimensional light beams with optical elements is described by the generalized Jones calculus, which has been formally proposed recently [Azzam, J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 28, 2279 (2011)]. In this work we obtain the parametric expression of the differential generalized Jones matrix (dGJM) for arbitrary optical media assuming transverse light waves. The dGJM is intimately connected to the Gell-Mann matrices, and we show that it provides a versatile method for obtaining the macroscopic GJM of media with either sequential or simultaneous anisotropic effects. Explicit parametric expressions of the GJM for some relevant optical elements are provided.
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