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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Michael Duncan
  • Vol. 11, Iss. 10 — May. 19, 2003
  • pp: 1137–1143

Degree of coherence for electromagnetic fields

Jani Tervo, Tero Setälä, and Ari T. Friberg  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 11, Issue 10, pp. 1137-1143 (2003)

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The relationship between the visibility of fringes and the degree of spatial coherence in electromagnetic two-pinhole interference is assessed. It is demonstrated that the customary definition of the degree of coherence of an electromagnetic field is flawed and a new quantity, free of the formal drawbacks, is introduced. The new definition, which is shown to be consistent with known results for Gaussian statistics, has some unusual properties characteristic only for electromagnetic fields. The degree of coherence is measurable by a sequence of interference experiments.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(030.1640) Coherence and statistical optics : Coherence
(260.5430) Physical optics : Polarization

ToC Category:
Research Papers

Original Manuscript: April 2, 2003
Revised Manuscript: April 29, 2003
Published: May 19, 2003

Jani Tervo, Tero Setala, and Ari Friberg, "Degree of coherence for electromagnetic fields," Opt. Express 11, 1137-1143 (2003)

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