Abstract

In this Letter we extend the well-known space–time duality to partially coherent wave fields and, as a limit case, to incoherent sources. We show that there is a general analogy between the paraxial diffraction of quasi-monochromatic beams of limited spatial coherence and the temporal distortion of partially coherent plane-wave pulses in parabolic dispersive media. Next, coherence-dependent effects in the propagation of Gaussian Schell-model pulses are retrieved from that of their spatial counterpart, the Gaussian Schell-model beam. Finally, the last result allows us to present a source linewidth analysis in an optical fiber communication system operating around the 1.55μm wavelength window.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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