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Is stokes vector can be a quantum state?

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ftqpachino
#1
Feb29-12, 04:00 PM
P: 2
Is a stokes four-vector like (1 1 0 0) being horizontal polarized vector can be treated as a quantum state? If the answer is yes, this state can be used to construct density matrix?
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M Quack
#2
Mar1-12, 11:44 AM
P: 660
Yes and yes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polarization_%28waves%29

The coherency matrix is nothing else than a density matrix.
ftqpachino
#3
Mar1-12, 01:19 PM
P: 2
But coherency matrix is a 2χ2 matrix, which can be constructed by stokes parameters. The density matrix constructed by stokes vector itself would be a 4χ4 matrix.

ρ=(1 1 0 0)χ(1 1 0 0)

If this 4χ4 matrix is a density matrix, how can I measure the degree of polarization of this density matrix?

M Quack
#4
Mar1-12, 05:12 PM
P: 660
Is stokes vector can be a quantum state?

The Stokes vector has 4 real components.

The coherency matrix is a 2x2 complex matrix built from the unity matrix and the 3 Pauli matricies. That also makes 4 free variables.

You can easily construct the density matrix from the Stokes vector and vice versa. Born and Wolf's textbook has a pretty good chapter on that.


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