Abstract

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 2×2 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 matrix.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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