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Polarisation: Applications in Remote Sensing$
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Shane Cloude

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199569731

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199569731.001.0001

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Polarised electromagnetic waves

Polarised electromagnetic waves

(p.1) 1 Polarised electromagnetic waves
Polarisation: Applications in Remote Sensing

S. R Cloude

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers a basic description of the generation, propagation and scattering of polarised electromagnetic waves. It assumes a starting familiarity with the basic form of Maxwell's equations, and then uses them together with formal matrix methods to develop several key ideas, including the importance of special unitary matrices, the concept of matrix decomposition via the use of the Pauli spin matrices in classical wave problems, and a basic definition of the scattering amplitude matrix. It also includes coverage of the important geometrical concepts of polarimetry such as the Jones vector and related propagation calculus, Stokes parameters, and the Poincaré sphere, as well as considering coordinate issues that arise when using microwave antenna coordinates in radar studies. It concludes with an introduction to the important concept of a scattering vector that forms the basis for studies in later chapters.

Keywords:   Polarisation, Maxwell's Equations, Polarisation Ellipse, Unitary Matrices, Scattering Matrix, Scattering Vector, Faraday Rotation, Chiral Media

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