In 1955 Wolf noticed that the mutual coherence function Γ obeys two wave equations [Proc. R. Soc. London <b>230</b>, 246 (1955)]. The physical optics of this finding is thoroughly presented in Mandel and Wolf’s recent monograph [<i>Optical Coherence and Quantum Optics</i> (Cambridge U. Press, Cambridge, UK 1995)]. We discuss those coherence waves in the spirit of optical signal processing. The term coherence waves is justified if one accepts the following paradigm: A wave is whatever obeys the wave equation.
© 1999 Optical Society of America
(030.1640) Coherence and statistical optics : Coherence
(070.2580) Fourier optics and signal processing : Paraxial wave optics
(070.6020) Fourier optics and signal processing : Continuous optical signal processing
(350.7420) Other areas of optics : Waves
Adolf W. Lohmann, David Mendlovic, and Gal Shabtay, "Coherence waves," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 16, 359-363 (1999)