Abstract

A general explicit algebraic characterization of Mueller matrices is presented in terms of the non-negativity of a set of leading principal minors of the coherency matrix CA associated with the arrow form MA of a given Mueller matrix M. This result is also formulated through a set of four characteristic Stokes vectors. The particular cases of Mueller matrices with zero degree of polarizance and symmetric Mueller matrices are analyzed.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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