Within the framework of the phase-space representation of random electromagnetic fields provided by electromagnetic spatial coherence wavelets, and by using the Fresnel–Arago laws for interference and polarization as an analysis tool, the meaning of the spatial coherence-polarization tensor and its invariance under transformations is studied. The results give new insight into the definition and properties of the complex degree of spatial coherence by showing that its invariance is not required for properly describing the behavior of random electromagnetic fields within the scope of physically measurable quantities.
© 2009 Optical Society of America
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