We describe a method of characterizing high-order polarization mode dispersion (PMD). Using a new expansion to approximate the Jones matrix of a polarization-dispersive medium, we study the length dependence of high-order PMD to the fourth order. A simple rule for the asymptotic behavior of PMD for short and long fibers is found. It is also shown that, in long fibers , at the third- and fourth-order PMD may become comparable to the second-order PMD.
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