A liquid-crystal adaptive optics system using all-optical feedback interferometry is applied to partially coherent imaging through a phase disturbance. A theoretical analysis based on the propagation of the cross-spectral density shows that the blurred image due to the phase disturbance can be restored, in principle, irrespective of the state of coherence of the light illuminating the object. Experimental verification of the theory has been performed for two cases when the object to be imaged is illuminated by spatially coherent light originating from a He–Ne laser and by spatially incoherent white light from a halogen lamp. We observed in both cases that images blurred by the phase disturbance were successfully restored, in agreement with the theory, immediately after the adaptive optics system was activated. The origin of the deviation of the experimental results from the theory, together with the effect of the feedback misalignment inherent in our optical arrangement, is also discussed.
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