Abstract

It is shown that two stochastic electromagnetic beams that propagate from the source plane z=0 into the half-space z>0 may have different degrees of polarization throughout the half-space, even though they have the same sets of Stokes parameters in the source plane. This fact is due to a possible difference in the coherence properties of the field in that plane, but other reasons are also possible. The result is illustrated by an example.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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