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The time-space varying birefringence in single-mode optical fibers causes the polarization mode dispersion (PMD) to be a serious problem in high bit-rate transmissions. The PMD first- and second-order statistics are well known in the literature, but second-order PMD-induced pulse distortions have still to be clarified for sequences of pulses of arbitrary shape. We give, for the first time, the exact PMD time impulse response, up to second order. We show, both numerically and experimentally, that the effect of the rotation of the principal states of polarization (PSP) is to generate power overshoots on the "1" and "0" bit sequences.