Abstract

Dual photoelastic modulator polarimeters can measure light polarization, which is often described as a Stokes vector. By evaluating changes in polarization when light interacts with a sample, the sample Mueller matrix also can be derived, completely describing its interaction with polarized light. The choice of which and how many input Stokes vectors to use for sample investigation is under the experimenter’s control. Previous work has predicted that sets of input Stokes vectors forming the vertices of platonic solids on the Poincaré sphere allow for the most robust Mueller matrix determination. Further, when errors specific to the dual photoelastic modulator polarimeter are considered, simulations revealed that one specific shape and orientation of Stokes vectors (cube on the Poincaré sphere with vertices away from principal sphere axes) allows for the most robust Mueller matrix determination. Here we experimentally validate the optimum input Stokes vectors for dual photoelastic modulator Mueller polarimetry, toward developing a robust polarimetric platform of increasing relevance to biophotonics.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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