Abstract

Coherent-mode representation provides physical insight and computational simplification into the analysis of random optical signals. In this work, we present the coherent-mode decomposition for pulsed electromagnetic beam fields. We show that the mode decomposition can be done for any valid space–frequency or space–time coherence matrix representing nonstationary pulsed electric field, and moreover, the spectral and temporal modes are connected via a Fourier transform relation. The analysis also yields the coherent modes of electromagnetic time-domain signals in temporal optics. We present the overall degree of coherence as a measure of the average temporal or spectral and spatial coherence of the beam. Several illustrative examples are discussed analytically and numerically.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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