Polarization time and length for random optical beams

Tero Setälä, Andriy Shevchenko, Matti Kaivola, Ari Friberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)
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We investigate the dynamics of the instantaneous polarization state of stationary, partially polarized random electromagnetic beamlike fields. An intensity-normalized correlation function of the instantaneous Poincaré vector is introduced for the characterization of the time evolution of the polarization state. This polarization correlation function enables us to define a polarization time and a polarization length over which the polarization state remains substantially unchanged. In the case of Gaussian statistics, the polarization correlation function is shown to assume a simple form in terms of the parameters employed to characterize partial coherence and partial polarization of electromagnetic fields. The formalism is demonstrated for a partially polarized, temporally Gaussian-correlated beam, and black-body radiation. The results are expected to find a range of applications in investigations of phenomena where polarization fluctuations of light play an important role.
Original languageEnglish
Article number033817
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sep 2008
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • fluctuations
  • polarization


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