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Optics Letters

Optics Letters


  • Vol. 29, Iss. 5 — Mar. 1, 2004
  • pp: 459–461

Coherence properties of sunlight

Girish S. Agarwal, Greg Gbur, and Emil Wolf  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Letters, Vol. 29, Issue 5, pp. 459-461 (2004)

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The coherence properties of sunlight were first studied by Verdet around 1869 and were later examined by other scientists. However, all the previous calculations assumed that the Earth is in the far zone of the Sun, an assumption that is incorrect. An investigation of why Verdet's result is nevertheless correct reveals a surprising property of radiation from incoherent sources.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(030.1640) Coherence and statistical optics : Coherence
(350.1260) Other areas of optics : Astronomical optics
(350.5610) Other areas of optics : Radiation

Girish S. Agarwal, Greg Gbur, and Emil Wolf, "Coherence properties of sunlight," Opt. Lett. 29, 459-461 (2004)

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  1. É. Verdet, Leçons d'Optique Physique, Vol. 1 (L'Imprimierie Impériale, Paris, 1869).
  2. M. Born and E. Wolf, Principles of Optics, 7th (expanded) ed. (Cambridge U. Press, Cambridge, 1999).
  3. L. Mandel and E. Wolf, Optical Coherence and Quantum Optics (Cambridge U. Press, Cambridge, 1995).
  4. C. H. Papas, Theory of Electromagnetic Wave Propagation (Dover, New York, 1988), Sect. 4.4.
  5. G. B. Arfken and H. J. Weber, Mathematical Methods for Physicists, 5th ed. (Academic, San Diego, Calif., 2001).
  6. J. J. Greffet, private communication.

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