Operatorial form of the theory of polarization optical devices: I. Spectral theory of the basic devices

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While the theory of operators in quantum mechanics is expressed nowadays in a pure operatorial form (wrapped mostly in Dirac's symbolic language), in optics the polarization device operators and their action are analyzed yet in the old matrix (Jones or Muller) formalism. The theory of polarization device operators has not taken systematically advantage of the very general, fundamental and deep results of the spectral theory of operators, on the basis of which it can be structured in an elegant deductive and physically expressive form. In this paper we apply the spectral theorem to the polarization device operators, we calculate their expansions in a pure operatorial Dirac-dyadic form and give some examples which illustrate the advantages from the physical insight viewpoint of such an approach. We are concerning here only with the basic polarization devices, to which correspond normal operators.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1078/0030-4026-00315

Affiliations: Faculty of Physics, University of Bucharest, 077125 Bucharest Maˇgurele, P.O. Box MG-11, Romania

Publication date: March 1, 2004

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