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A general theory of polarization and spatial information recovery by modal dispersal and phase conjugation is presented by means of a coherency matrix formalism. The theory is applied to a system that consists of a multimode modal-scrambling fiber terminated by a conventional phase-conjugate mirror that reflects only one polarization component. The degree of polarization and the signal-to-noise ratio of the reconstructed field are discussed as a function of input-beam launching conditions. Somedoi:10.1364/josab.5.000690 fatcat:bpspyg76bjg5xkr7slvd7znxdq