Analytical formulas are derived for the average irradiance and the degree of polarization of a radially or azimuthally polarized doughnut beam
(PDB) propagating in a turbulent atmosphere by adopting a beam coherence-polarization matrix. It is found that the radial or azimuthal polarization structure of a radially or azimuthally PDB will be destroyed (i.e., a radially or azimuthally PDB is depolarized and becomes a partially polarized beam) and the doughnut beam spot becomes a circularly Gaussian beam spot during propagation in a turbulent atmosphere. The propagation properties are closely related to the parameters of the beam and the structure constant of the atmospheric turbulence.
©2008 Optical Society of America
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