Abstract

An expression for the degree of spatial coherence of radiation that undergoes refraction is given for a wide class of refractive-index profiles. This expression yields a simple generalization of a well-known result of the van Cittert–Zernike theorem, which was derived for nonrefractive media. An application of this expression for a refractive-index profile, which causes divergence of the radiation, predicts an enhancement of the coherence length compared with that for the nonrefractive case. The validity of the analytical results is tested and compared with results of numerical calculations.

© 1992 Optical Society of America

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