Abstract

A new general interference law is derived for the superposition of two random electromagnetic beams of any state of coherence and of any state of polarization when the beams are transmitted through polarizers and rotators. It includes, as special cases, a variety of interference laws that apply to particular situations. Some of them have a close bearing on the classic interference experiments of Fresnel and Arago that have played a basic role in elucidating the concept of polarization of light.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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