OSA's Digital Library

Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Vol. 11, Iss. 5 — May. 1, 1994
  • pp: 1641–1643

Change of polarization of light beams on propagation in free space

Daniel F. V. James  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 11, Issue 5, pp. 1641-1643 (1994)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (311 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



It is shown by use of a simple model that in general the state of polarization of a light beam generated by a partially coherent source changes as the beam propagates in free space.

© 1994 Optical Society of America

Original Manuscript: March 18, 1993
Revised Manuscript: October 29, 1993
Manuscript Accepted: October 29, 1993
Published: May 1, 1994

Daniel F. V. James, "Change of polarization of light beams on propagation in free space," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 11, 1641-1643 (1994)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. E. Wolf, “Coherence properties of partially polarized electromagnetic radiation,” Nuovo Cimento 13, 1165–1181 (1959). [CrossRef]
  2. E. Wolf, E. Collett, “Partially coherent sources which produce the same far-field intensity distribution as a laser,” Opt. Commun. 25, 293–296 (1978). [CrossRef]
  3. A. T. Friberg, R. J. Sudol, “Propagation parameters of Gaussian Schell-model beams,” Opt. Commun. 41, 383–387 (1982). [CrossRef]
  4. R. Simon, E. C. G. Sudarshan, N. Mukunda, “Generalized rays in first order optics: transformation properties of Gaussian Schell-model beams,” Phys. Rev. A 29, 3273–3279 (1984). [CrossRef]
  5. P. DeSantis, F. Gori, G. Guattari, C. Palma, “Anisotropic Gaussian Schell-model sources,” Opt. Acta 33, 315–326 (1986). [CrossRef]
  6. L. Mandel, E. Wolf, Optical Coherence and Quantum Optics (Cambridge U. Press, Cambridge, to be published).
  7. P. DeSantis, F. Gori, G. Guattari, C. Palma, “An example of a Collett–Wolf source,” Opt. Commun. 29, 256–260 (1979). [CrossRef]
  8. J. D. Farina, L. M. Narducci, E. Collett, “Generation of highly directional beams from a globally incoherent source,” Opt. Commun. 32, 203–208 (1980). [CrossRef]
  9. The influence of coherence on the degree of polarization was first considered for blackbody sources in A. K. Jaiswal, G. P. Agrawal, C. L. Mehta, “Coherence functions in the far field diffraction plane,” Nuovo Cimento 15B, 295–307 (1973).This work is the subject of a forthcoming paper [D. F. V. James, “Polarization of light radiated by blackbody sources,” Opt. Commun. (to be published)].
  10. A. E. Siegman, Lasers (University Science Books, Mill Valley, Calif., 1986), p. 633.
  11. Note that the assumption of a completely unpolarized field is not incompatible with the assumption of partial spatial coherence. An example is the blackbody field, which is unpolarized and is partially coherent [see C. L. Mehta and E. Wolf, “Coherence properties of blackbody radiation, part III: cross spectral tensors,” Phys. Rev. 161, 1328–1334 (1967)].
  12. E. Wolf, “Non-cosmological redshifts of spectral lines,” Nature (London) 326, 363–365 (1987). [CrossRef]
  13. M. Kowarz, E. Wolf, “Conservation laws for partially coherent free fields,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 10, 88–94 (1993). [CrossRef]

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.


Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited