A matrix method is outlined for dealing with quasi-monochromatic, partially
polarized light when spatial coherence is not necessarily complete and propagation
occurs along beams. Both spatial coherence and polarization properties are
described by a single matrix whose elements have the structure of mutual intensity functions.
Through a simple example it is shown that this matrix can account for differences
that would not be revealed by a scalar treatment or by a locally defined polarization
© 1998 Optical Society of America
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