Abstract

The theory of second-order coherence in connection with wave propagation through a stratified N-layer (SNL) medium is developed. Especially, the influence of the SNL medium on the propagation of the coherence generated by a given state of coherence at the entrance plane of the medium is considered. The generalization of the van Cittert–Zernike theorem is obtained, and the propagation of the second-order coherence from a quasi-homogeneous surface distribution or a rough surface is calculated. Furthermore, the influence of SNL media on the coherence properties of a pulse is calculated.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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