By use of path-integral methods, a general expression is obtained for the two-frequency, two-position mutual coherence function of an electromagnetic pulse propagating through turbulent atmosphere. This expression is valid for arbitrary models of refractive-index fluctuations, wide band pulses, and turbulence of arbitrary strength. The approach presented in this paper was examined in the cases of plane-wave, spherical wave, and Gaussian beam propagation in power-law turbulence and compared with existing numerical and exact results. A number of new results were obtained for the Gaussian beam pulse. Expressions derived here should be applicable to a wide range of practical pulse propagation problems.
© 2002 Optical Society of America
(010.1290) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric optics
(010.1300) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric propagation
(010.1330) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric turbulence
(010.3310) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Laser beam transmission
Alexandre V. Morozov, "Two-frequency mutual coherence function of electromagnetic waves in random media: a path-integral variational solution," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 19, 2074-2084 (2002)