For light fields propagating through rotationally symmetric first-order optical systems, the possibility of improvement of the beam-propagation factor is shown to arise when the vectorial behavior is taken into account. For partially polarized beams, we find the optimized value of the beam-quality parameter that can be attained by using this kind of system. This value is given in terms of the beam qualities associated with the transverse polarization components of the vector field. On the basis of the so-called intensity-moment formalism, the general conditions that should be fulfilled at some plane to reach such an optimized value are determined. A procedure to experimentally get the optimization conditions is also proposed.
© 2005 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: November 19, 2004
Revised Manuscript: January 19, 2005
Manuscript Accepted: January 23, 2005
Published: July 1, 2005
Rosario Martínez-Herrero, Pedro M. Mejías, and Jésus M. Movilla, "Beam-quality optimization of partially polarized fields," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 22, 1442-1446 (2005)