Abstract

The concept of a quasihomogeneous source is introduced. Unlike a source that is strictly homogeneous in its statistical properties, a quasihomogeneous source may be finite. Many physical sources, both primary and secondary ones, are adequately approximated by this model. Coherence and radiometric properties of light generated by such sources (assumed, for simplicity, to be planar) are discussed and an important reciprocity relation is shown to exist between light in the far zone and in the source plane. This relation implies that the degree of coherence in the far zone is given by the classic form of the van Cittert-Zernike theorem, even though the source may have a high degree of spatial coherence over arbitrarily large areas. The reciprocity relation also provides a generalization of a recently derived result that expresses the angular dependence of the radiant intensity in terms of the degree of spatial coherence of light in the source plane. The dependence of all the basic radiometric quantities on the distribution of the optical intensity across the source and on the degree of spatial coherence of the light emerging from the source is discussed and is illustrated, for some typical sources, by computed curves.

© 1977 Optical Society of America

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