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Using a general model to schematize polarimetric and interferometric measurements, we derive the dependence of the output signal on the input state of polarization. We show that in any birefringent medium, in addition to the eigenvectors that maximize the interferometric phase signal, there exist dual vectors that maximize the amplitude of the polarimetric signal. The dual vectors lie on the maximum circle normal to the eigenvector axis.doi:10.1364/ol.14.000476 pmid:19749957 fatcat:qw2sb3ojpjexti4id6dav2eai4