A generalized correlation-based definition for moments of arbitrary order is introduced that can also accommodate mixed spatial and angular moments. Moreover, a transformation law for these moments for propagation through linear optical systems is derived. This law has the same form as the corresponding propagation law of the moments defined in terms of the Wigner distribution function. The correlation-based moments can be used to fully characterize beams of arbitrary states of coherence.
© 2003 Optical Society of America
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