Depolarization in the Mueller Calculus

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

9 Scopus citations


Depolarization is the generation of partially polarized light or unpolarized light from a completely polarized incident beam. For example when polarized light scatters from rough surfaces, the degree of polarization is usually reduced from one. Depolarization figures of merit are discussed and difficulties with the depolarization index are highlighted. Interesting depolarization patterns are presented for a liquid crystal in reflection are measured with a commercial polarimeter. Depolarization data from rough metal surfaces and paint is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
EditorsJ.A. Shaw, J. Scott Tyo
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2003
EventPolarization Science and Remote Sensing - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 3 2003Aug 5 2003


OtherPolarization Science and Remote Sensing
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics

Cite this

Chipman, R. A. (2003). Depolarization in the Mueller Calculus. In J. A. Shaw, & J. Scott Tyo (Eds.), Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering (Vol. 5158, pp. 184-192)