An optical correlator that can operate with totally incoherent light is presented. Such a correlator can be designed to compensate completely for the inherent chromatic aberrations by resorting to elements with specialized, possibly impractical, dispersion characteristics. Nevertheless, a practical configuration that exploits available achromatic lenses and Fresnel zone plates was designed, built, and tested experimentally. The results reveal that detectable correlation peaks can be obtained with totally incoherent white light. The designs, experimental procedures, and results are presented.
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