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Optics Letters

Optics Letters


  • Editor: Alan E. Willner
  • Vol. 38, Iss. 6 — Mar. 15, 2013
  • pp: 866–868

Concept of purity in the theory of optical polarization

Mayukh Lahiri  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Letters, Vol. 38, Issue 6, pp. 866-868 (2013)

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It was shown some time ago that the space-time and the space-frequency degrees of polarization of a stochastic electromagnetic beam are not equivalent to each other. It is not possible, in general, to obtain a formal relationship between them. In this Letter, we discuss certain conditions under which they are directly related. These conditions lead to the concept of polarization-purity. If an optical beam obeys these conditions, its space-frequency degree of polarization has the same value at all frequencies present in the spectrum, and the value is equal to the space-time degree of polarization.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(030.0030) Coherence and statistical optics : Coherence and statistical optics
(260.0260) Physical optics : Physical optics
(260.5430) Physical optics : Polarization

ToC Category:
Physical Optics

Original Manuscript: December 20, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: December 27, 2012
Published: March 12, 2013

Mayukh Lahiri, "Concept of purity in the theory of optical polarization," Opt. Lett. 38, 866-868 (2013)

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  12. An equivalent condition is briefly discussed in [9].
  13. The term purity is inspired by the concept of cross-spectral purity introduced by Mandel [14]. Cross-spectral purity has similar significance relating to the spatial coherence properties of optical fields [15].
  14. L. Mandel, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 51, 1342 (1961). [CrossRef]
  15. L. Mandel and E. Wolf, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 66, 529(1976). [CrossRef]

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