Abstract

The effects of polarization gratings on partially coherent beams are investigated by studying a Gaussian Schell-model beam impinging on a linear polarizer whose transmission axis varies periodically along one transverse direction. Analytical expressions for the beam polarization-coherence matrix after the grating are obtained. In particular, the evolution of the degree of polarization upon propagation is analyzed. Different behaviors of the output beam, depending on the beam parameters and on the period of the grating, are exhibited. In particular, it is shown that, by suitably choosing the latter quantities, it is possible to obtain not only any desirable value of the degree of polarization of the output beam but also particular distributions of such parameters across the transverse sections of the beam.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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