Abstract

The ratio between the components of the complex amplitudes of a plane, completely polarized, electromagnetic wave describes the state of polarization. For partially polarized gaussian light, the average value of this ratio is found to be simply related to the elements of the coherency matrix. This average is related to the degree of polarization and the cross-correlation function. Its propagation through linear optical systems is discussed.Index Headings: Polarization; Ellipsometry; Coherence.

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