We show that, for 3D random electromagnetic fields that are created by optical systems from a partially polarized plane wave, two different definitions of the 3D degree of polarization proposed in literature have a monotonic one-to-one correspondence, thus providing the same information about the field’s polarization state. Examples of 3D fields obeying this result are the evanescent wave generated in total internal reflection, the tightly focused beam, and the far field scattered from an electric point dipole.
© 2009 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: July 17, 2009
Revised Manuscript: September 18, 2009
Manuscript Accepted: September 25, 2009
Published: October 29, 2009
Tero Setälä, Klas Lindfors, and Ari T. Friberg, "Degree of polarization in 3D optical fields generated from a partially polarized plane wave," Opt. Lett. 34, 3394-3396 (2009)