Classical distinguishability as an operational measure of polarization
Abstract
We put forward an operational degree of polarization that can be extended in a natural way to fields whose wave fronts are not necessarily planar. This measure appears as a distance from a state to the set of all of its polarizationtransformed counterparts. By using the HilbertSchmidt metric, the resulting degree is a sum of two terms: one is the purity of the state and the other can be interpreted as a classical distinguishability, which can be experimentally determined in an interferometric setup. For transverse fields, this reduces to the standard approach, whereas it allows one to get a straight expression for nonparaxial fields.
 Publication:

Physical Review A
 Pub Date:
 July 2014
 DOI:
 10.1103/PhysRevA.90.013830
 arXiv:
 arXiv:1407.5778
 Bibcode:
 2014PhRvA..90a3830B
 Keywords:

 42.25.Ja;
 05.40.a;
 Polarization;
 Fluctuation phenomena random processes noise and Brownian motion;
 Quantum Physics
 EPrint:
 To appear in Phys. Rev. A