Abstract

We introduce an extension of the van Cittert–Zernike theorem to spatially incoherent sources with partial polarization. We show through a simple example that fields generated by such sources can possess correlation matrices with interesting properties. In particular, we show that by suitable modulation of the polarization state across the incoherent source, the correlation between the orthogonal components of the field as well as the degree of polarization may drastically change on propagation.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

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