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Coherence for vectorial waves and majorization

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Abstract

We show that comparison via majorization provides a powerful tool to examine the coherence of partially polarized electromagnetic waves, including the idea that two field states may or may not be comparable. Through two relevant scenarios, we show that when superimposing comparable unpolarized fields majorization agrees with interferometric visibility, while when combining fields of different degrees of polarization the situation turns out to be richer.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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