Polarimetric investigation of fully resolved speckle patterns provides a direct measure of the joint
distribution of Stokes vector elements. In the case of highly diffusive media, Gaussian statistics
are usually invoked to describe the field distribution and subsequently determine the polarization
distribution. However, it has been shown that various types of globally unpolarized field distributions
can arise in practice, and that second order polarization correlations can be used as a means
for discriminating these various ensembles. We examine polarization correlations as they relate
to the thickness and morphological structure of bulk scattering media. We also comment on the
usefulness of the complex degree of mutual polarization as a discriminator in this regime.
We examine the joint probability distribution of polarization information; specifically the joint distribution of the degree of polarization and the three Stokes parameters, as it relates to material properties in a highly scattering, highly depolarizing transmission geometry, making use of the Observable Polarization Sphere (OPS) for visualization of this distribution. We comment on the role of the source’s coherence in terms of the polarization properties of the resulting speckle field, and describe numerical and experimental results of second order Stokes vector element correlations and their applicability to material discrimination.
Measurements of a reduced Mueller matrix in backscattering from diffusive, dielectric targets are reported as a function of the angle of incidence. It was found that the off-diagonal elements depend greatly on the angle of incidence, increasing to a maximum near grazing incidence. A theoretical model that accounts for the non-trivial behavior in the off-diagonal elements of the Mueller matrix is presented. We comment on the applicability of this model to the determination of the shape of the targets.