Abstract

A linear algebraic theory of partial coherence is presented that allows precise mathematical definitions of concepts such as coherence and incoherence. This not only provides new perspectives and insights but also allows us to employ the conceptual and algebraic tools of linear algebra in applications. We define several scalar measures of the degree of partial coherence of an optical field that are zero for full incoherence and unity for full coherence. The mathematical definitions are related to our physical understanding of the corresponding concepts by considering them in the context of Young’s experiment.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

Full Article  |  PDF Article

References

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Citation lists with outbound citation links are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Cited By

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Cited by links are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Equations (33)

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Equations are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription

Metrics

You do not have subscription access to this journal. Article level metrics are available to subscribers only. You may subscribe either as an OSA member, or as an authorized user of your institution.

Contact your librarian or system administrator
or
Login to access OSA Member Subscription