A procedure for the synthesis of the most general electromagnetic Schell-model light source is proposed. It makes use of the generalized van Cittert–Zernike theorem to produce the electromagnetic source starting from a primary spatially incoherent source, characterized by a suitable position-dependent polarization matrix. By resorting to the spectral decomposition of the polarization matrix, it is shown how such an incoherent source can be synthesized by using a Mach–Zehnder interferometer, with suitable amplitude transmittances placed in its arms, fed by two mutually uncorrelated laser beams. Examples are given for the case of electromagnetic Gaussian Schell-model sources.
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