We show that the complex-amplitude cross-correlation function between two beams can be obtained by the global Stokes parameters. We apply this approach to determine the topological charge of a Laguerre–Gaussian (LG) beam by performing power measurements only. Additionally, we study the connection of the cross-correlation function with the degree of polarization for nonuniformly polarized beams, and we obtain closed-form expressions of the cross correlation for LG vector modes and the generalized full Poincaré beams.
© 2014 Optical Society of America
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