It is shown that the negative values of the Wigner distribution function in classical optics are a consequence of the phase-space interference among the Gaussian beams into which an arbitrary light distribution (or a superposition of light distributions) can be decomposed. These elementary Gaussian beams partition the phase space in wave optics in adjacent, interacting, finite-area cells, in contrast to geometrical optics, where the phase space is continuous and a light beam can be decomposed into a number of perfectly localized, non-interacting rays.
© 2000 Optical Society of America
(070.0070) Fourier optics and signal processing : Fourier optics and signal processing
(070.4560) Fourier optics and signal processing : Data processing by optical means
(100.0100) Image processing : Image processing
(100.2960) Image processing : Image analysis
Daniela Dragoman, "Phase-space interferences as the source of negative values of the Wigner distribution function," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 17, 2481-2485 (2000)