Taking the Gaussian Schell-model (GSM) beam as a typical example of partially coherent beams, the analytical expressions of the spectrum of GSM beams propagating in dispersive media are derived, and the spectral properties are studied in detail. It is shown that, in comparison with propagation in free space and in turbulence, whether or not GSM beams satisfy the scaling law, the normalized spectrum of GSM beams in dispersive media changes on propagation in general, because the dispersive medium affects different spectral components differently. As compared with the free-space propagation, for the scaling-law GSM beams the dispersion results in spectrum change, and for the nonscaling-law GSM beams the dispersion gives rise to a further increase in spectral changes. The structure constant of the dispersive property of the media, the transverse coordinate of the observation point, the spatial correlation length of the source, and the propagation distance affect the spectral behavior of GSM beams; this effect is illustrated numerically.
© 2008 Optical Society of America
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