The evolution of the Stokes parameters in optically anisotropic media is
characterized by a set of coupled nonlinear first-order differential equations.
The incident quasi-monochromatic plane-wave field is assumed to be statistically
stationary and of arbitrary state of polarization. The optical medium is assumed
to be linear, passive, and characterized by a differential Mueller matrix. It is
shown that the set of these equations provides an efficient tool for the
analysis of the propagation of partially polarized light in anisotropic media.
As an example, we analyze the evolution of a beam of light propagating in a
cholesteric liquid crystal. We also investigate how an additive temporal
randomness on the differential Mueller matrix can modify the evolution of Stokes
parameters in this medium.
© 1995 Optical Society of America
Equations on this page are rendered with MathJax. Learn more.