Abstract

We study the properties of quasi-stationary, partially coherent, plane-wave optical pulses in the space–time and space–frequency domains. A generalized van Cittert–Zernike theorem in time is derived to describe the propagation of the coherence function of quasi-stationary pulses. The theory is applied to rectangular pulses chopped from a stationary light source, and the evolution characteristics of such pulse trains with different states of coherence are discussed and illustrated with numerical examples.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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