## Abstract

The spectral degree of coherence and of polarization of some model electromagnetic beams modulated by a polarization-dependent phase-modulating device, such as a liquid-crystal spatial light modulator, acting as a random phase screen are examined on the basis of the recent theory formulated in terms of the $2\times 2$ cross-spectral density matrix of the beam. The phase-modulating device is assumed to have strong polarization dependence that modulates only one of the orthogonal components of the electric vector, and the phase of the phase-modulating device is assumed to be a random function of position imitating a random phase screen and is assumed to obey Gaussian statistics with zero mean. The propagation of the modulated beam is also examined to show how the spectral degrees of coherence and of polarization of the beam change on propagation, even in free space. The results are illustrated by numerical examples.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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