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Ray picture of polarization and coherence in a Young interferometer

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Abstract

We apply a polarization Wigner formalism to the propagation of polarization in a Young interferometer within paraxial approximation. With a very simple ray picture, we obtain complete and rigorous information about polarization evolution via the superposition of the spatial–angular Stokes parameters associated with three light rays. We compare the degree of polarization in the interference region with several measures of the degree of coherence for vectorial fields.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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