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Journal Article

Unpolarized states and hidden polarization


Leuchs,  G.
Leuchs Division, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Max Planck Society;


Sanchez-Soto,  L. L.
Guests, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Max Planck Society;

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de la Hoz, P., Bjork, G., Klimov, A. B., Leuchs, G., & Sanchez-Soto, L. L. (2014). Unpolarized states and hidden polarization. PHYSICAL REVIEW A, 90(4): 043826. doi:10.1103/PhysRevA.90.043826.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002D-6494-8
We capitalize on a multipolar expansion of the polarization density matrix, in which multipoles appear as successive moments of the Stokes variables. When all the multipoles up to a given order K vanish, we can properly say that the state is Kth-order unpolarized, as it lacks of polarization information to that order. First-order unpolarized states coincide with the corresponding classical ones, whereas unpolarized to any order tally with the quantum notion of fully invariant states. In between these two extreme cases, there is a rich variety of situations that are explored here. The existence of hidden polarization emerges in a natural way in this context.