For band-limited optical systems, necessary and sufficient conditions have been obtained that enable us to characterize the mutual coherence functions of all partially coherent quasi-monochromatic sources that generate the same intensity at the output. Throughout this work, two different cases have been considered: In the first one, the general equation that links the output intensity with the mutual coherence function at the input plane has been assumed to be valid over the entire output plane, whereas in the second case its validity has been restricted to a finite region of this plane. The common characteristics of the sources may be directly calculated from the output-intensity data. Comparison with other previously reported results has been done. To elucidate whether a function really represents a true mutual coherence function, a general criterion has been established. Finally, from any given intensity distribution at the output plane, we have determined the explicit analytical expression of the mutual coherence function of a source that can reproduce the same output-intensity data.
© 1985 Optical Society of America
R. Martínez-Herrero and P. M. Mejías, "Second-order characterization of sources from intensity data at the output of band-limited optical systems," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 2, 2001-2005 (1985)